Relations between Israel and Azerbaijan continue to tighten.
After Foreign Minister Eli Cohen had a conversation last Friday with his colleague, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhon Biramov and thanked him for Azerbaijan's decision to open an embassy in Israel, the Azerbaijani minister congratulated his Israeli counterpart for becoming foreign minister and expressed his wish of further tightening relations.
The Azerbaijani minister accepted Cohen's invitation to visit Israel and will do so for the opening of the embassy.
Meanwhile, members of the Azerbaijani parliament sent a letter of thanks and congratulations to 30 ministers and MKs from all Knesset factions who signed a letter of support sent to the parliament following the announced opening of an embassy in Israel.
As published in Maariv at the beginning of January, the MKs were astonished that the French legislature's announced move to put an embargo on Azerbaijani gas and oil due to the conflict with Armenia. This gives a boost to Iran, which wants to weaken Azerbaijan.
What did the Azerbaijani letter to Israel say?
"We happily thank you for your congratulatory letter regarding the establishment of an Azerbaijani embassy in Israel. The opening of the embassy marks the start of a new phase in our bilateral relations and is proof that our cooperation is rising to a new level," the Azerbaijani letter said.
"Israel was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan's independence. Azerbaijan and Israel share similar positions on developing their regions and on a global scale and show mutual support for solving the problems our countries face. The Azerbaijani people appreciate and will never forget Israel's consistent support for Azerbaijan's justified position during the 44-day patriotic war," the latter a reference to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia.
In reference to Azerbaijan's Iran issue, the parliamentarians wrote that "Unfortunately, not everyone is satisfied with Azerbaijan's victory, which increased its political, military and economic capacity in the region and helped consolidate its international position.
"The recent harsh anti-Azerbaijani rhetoric of Iran and its military exercises along our border are a clear manifestation of this and they show Iran's true goals."Azerbaijani parliament letter to Israeli lawmakers
"The recent harsh anti-Azerbaijani rhetoric of Iran and its military exercises along our border are a clear manifestation of this and they show Iran's true goals. Azerbaijan has never been afraid of the threats it faces and it can respond to them appropriately.
"In light of the increasing provocations and threats against Azerbaijan, we are pleased and inspired to receive your [Israel's] message of support. And for that, we express our gratitude."
In a separate message to all MKs, the Azerbaijani lawmakers wrote: "We will take advantage of this opportunity to invite you to visit Azerbaijan and are confident this will be a significant impetus for growing our inter-parliamentary ties, deepening Azerbaijan-Israel relations and the strategic partnership built on mutual trust and support."
The letter was signed referencing Azerbaijan's ancient local Jewish community.
"The Jewish community lives in an atmosphere of peace, friendship and brotherhood in Azerbaijan, where tolerance, multicultural values and religious equality are considered a way of life. Azerbaijan's Jewish citizens actively take part in cultural and sociopolitical life and contribute to Azerbaijan's development."