Azerbaijan to procure more Israeli weapon systems

By Arie Egozi

Azerbaijan has asked Israel for more, very advanced weapon systems. The request was made during a two days visit of Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz in Azerbaijan.

According to Israeli defence sources that shopping list of the Azeris includes very advanced defensive and offensive weapon systems

Israel has already supplied Azerbaijan with advanced weapon systems that played a major role during the war between this country and Armenia.

The minister’s visit proves the importance Israel sees in Azerbaijan that has a long border with Iran.

The visit of Defence Minister Benny Gantz that became public only on Sep. 3 after he returned to Israel was according to the Israeli ministry of defence  dedicated to security and policy issues, and aimed at fostering defence cooperation between the countries.

The official statement says that during the visit, the Minister met with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. He was also welcomed to the Ministry of Defence with an honor guard ceremony and met with his counterpart, Minister of Defence Colonel General Hasanov Zakir Asgar oglu.  Minister Gantz also met with the Chief of State Border Service, Colonel General Elchin Guliyev and visited a State Border Service HQ.

During the visit, Minister Gantz emphasized the importance of maintaining strategic relations between the State of Israel and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the importance of continuing to work towards regional and global peace and stability. During his meetings, Minister Gantz reflected on the changes in the Middle East region following the signing of the Abraham Accords, and discussed Israel’s developing ties with Turkey and additional countries in the region and the world.

Minister Gantz was joined by the MOD Director General Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel, Director of the Policy and POL-MIL Bureau Dror Shalom, and Military Secretary Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf.

In recent months Israel made special efforts to strengthen its defence relations with Azerbaijan.

Iran is not happy with the growing defence ties between Israel and Azerbaijan.

The official Iranian narrative is that Baku has given Israel ample operational freedom to use Azerbaijani soil to stage operations deep inside Iran. The latest charge from Tehran is that Israel’s theft of sensitive nuclear files in 2018 involved the use of Azerbaijan as a staging ground for an operation that humiliated Iran’s leadership and intelligence services. What is true for sure is that both Tehran and Baku are now engaged in a war of words unlike anything seen since the early 2010s.


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