This week I received a copy of the fifth edition of the newsletter for the European Azerbaijan Society. It is a simple little magazine, but it is well written, and for me, it was interesting to see how the Azeris are developing links with the EU. The society based in London, has plans to open up a Brussels office.
One small article caught my attention: “Exports to Israel worth billion USD”. I read on, and according to the Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan, 2009 saw examples of Israeli-Azerbaijani military-technical cooperation. He cited the signing of a major contract wíth Shikun and Binui Arison infrastructure and real estate group. Lavon-Lotem stated that rapidly developing trade between the two countries had transformed the nations into strategic allies. The Ambassador recalled: “During 2009, Israel exported goods worth £156 m to Azerbaijan, equating to an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2008. Due to the oil supply, goods worth 4 billion USD were exported to Israel, despite the challenging economic conditions”.
I think that the Azeri government is making a wise decision in expanding commercial ties with the Israeli government, because it can take the baton from the Turkey who has curtailed its links in recent months. We can only wait and see if this is the beginning of closer relations between the two states.