Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman left Sunday for Azerbaijan and meetings with
the top leadership of the strategic country on Iran’s northern
Liberman visited the country in 2010, and this will be his second
trip since becoming foreign minister. His trip comes just a month after an
article in the US magazine Foreign Policy cast the countries growing ties into
the international spotlight. That article, denied by both countries, alleged
Israel gained access to Azerbaijani airfields for a possible attack on
During the trip, reported last week in The Jerusalem Post
will meet Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov,
Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov, and Emergency Situations Minister
Liberman will also attend a ceremony marking 20
years of Azerbaijan-Israel relations, now in a boom period.
supplies Israel with a large percentage of its oil needs, and Israel – according
to foreign reports – recently inked a $1.6 billion arms deal with
In March, Azerbaijani officials announced the arrest of 22 people
on suspicion of spying for Iran. The 22, according to the Azerbaijani national
security minister, were said to have received orders from the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards to commit terrorist acts against the embassies of the US,
Israel and other Western countries.
Iran has accused Azerbaijan of
helping Israel assassinate nuclear scientists inside the country. Liberman’s
visit comes just days after a visit by Agriculture Minister Orit
In addition to traveling to Azerbaijan, Liberman will also stop in
Switzerland for a meeting with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier
Those talks are expected to focus on Switzerland’s continued
financial and energy ties with Iran. Switzerland has not frozen the assets of
the Iranian Central Bank, and the country did not follow the lead of the
European Union and embargo Iranian oil. Switzerland is not a member of the EU.
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