by Barbara Opall-Rome
September 10, 2014
TEL AVIV — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon began a two-day visit to Azerbaijan on Wednesday aiming to bolster burgeoning ties with its strategic and defense trade partner that conveniently borders northeast Iran. Ya’alon’s visit, the first by an Israeli MoD chief in 22 years of diplomatic relations between the Jewish and Muslim states, comes less than a month after Iran claimed to have shot down an Israeli-made UAV that reportedly took off from Azerbaijan.
It also coincides with ADEX-2014, the first international arms exhibition hosted by Baku, where 16 Israeli firms and MoD export officials will market a full spectrum of air, sea, land and space systems.
At a Wednesday meeting with Azerbaijan President llham Aliyev, Ya’alon characterized bilateral ties as “fruitful,” and noted that the two countries were engaged in broad-based strategic cooperation……