Azerbaijan's parliament
Azerbaijan's parliamentiStock

Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke Sunday morning with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, and thanked him for Azerbaijan's decision to become the first Shi'ite country to open an embassy in Israel.

“I spoke this morning with my friend, Defense Minister of Azerbaijan, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov. I thanked him on behalf of Israel’s defense establishment for the important decision taken by the Azeri parliament, to open an embassy in Israel," Gantz said.

"I also thanked him for his partnership and commitment to fostering defense relations between Israel and Azerbaijan over the years. This reflects the deep friendship between our countries, which I am certain will develop further and make a positive impact on the region.”

The Azerbaijani parliament on Friday announced its historic decision to open an embassy in Israel.

The embassy will be located in Tel Aviv, and will be the first embassy in Israel of a country with a Shi’ite majority and a Shi’ite government.

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said following the announcement: "I welcome the decision by the National Assembly of Azerbaijan to open an embassy in Israel. Azerbaijan is an important partner of Israel and home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the Muslim world. The decision to open an embassy reflects the depth of the relationship between our countries."