Aliyev’s friendship

Israel’s unlikely ally in Azerbaijan

May 30, 2018 12:59
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban. (photo credit: LUKE MACGREGOR / REUTERS)


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ROUGHLY ONE week after Ilham Aliyev secured a fourth consecutive term as president of Azerbaijan last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his congratulations to the winner, a "dear friend," in a letter published in the local press.

It was an expected gesture from a reliable ally, according to Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry officials, who spoke of Netanyahu with regard during my recent visit there. Netanyahu and Aliyev not only view the world in similar ways, I was told; they look at each other and see great opportunities for their small, youthful countries, both in fragile neighborhoods and engaged in narrative battles with territorial foes.


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