Ambassador Mukhtar Mammadov with President Herzog
Ambassador Mukhtar Mammadov with President HerzogHaim Zach/GPO

President Isaac Herzog on Sunday accepted the credentials of Mukhtar Mammadov, the first Ambassador to Israel of Azerbaijan, a Shiite Muslim country.

His appointment follows Azerbaijan's decision to open an embassy in Israel for the first time since the establishment of relations between the two countries, about 30 years ago.

Upon the arrival of the Ambassador of Azerbaijan, his country's national anthem was played by the IDF band and then the ambassador reviewed the IDF honor guard. After submitting his credentials to the President, the two held a meeting, after which the ambassador signed the guest book of the Presidential Residence. At the conclusion of the ceremony, “Hatikvah”, the Israeli anthem, was played.

Herzog said at the beginning of the meeting, "It is very significant for us that you are the first ambassador of Azerbaijan in Israel, since this is the realization of the initiative of your president, for whom I have great respect. As I also told him in our last conversation, I send my greetings to you and the citizens of Azerbaijan on the occasion of Ramadan."

Last November, the Azerbaijani parliament announced its historic decision to open an embassy in Israel.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev later signed an order on the establishment of the embassy, which will be located in Tel Aviv, and will be the first embassy in Israel of a country with a Shiite majority and a Shiite government.

Azerbaijan, which has bilateral ties with Israel, opened a trade representation office in Israel in 2021.