Israel-Azerbaijan ties to continue

March 1, 2012 at 7:38 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel, March 1 (UPI) -- Despite opposition from neighbors, strategic cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan will continue, a member of the Azerbaijani Parliament said.

Speaking at a conference held at the Netanya Academic College this week, Dr. Ganire Pashayeva, a member of the foreign affairs committee, refrained from mentioning Iran by name, The Jerusalem Post said Thursday.

Pashayeva noted Israeli-Azerbaijani ties are important from defense and economic perspectives.

Earlier this week the Iranian Foreign Ministry asked Azerbaijan's ambassador to explain a $1.5 million arms deal with Israel, the newspaper said.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh told the paper while there is no military alliance between Jerusalem and Baku, there are "naturally shared interests."

Sneh said Azerbaijan sells a third of its oil to Israel and said there is cooperation in technology and trade between the two countries.

Unnamed Israeli officials confirmed Sunday Israeli Aerospace industries signed a deal to supply Azerbaijan with unmanned aerial vehicles and missile defense systems, the paper said.

Azerbaijan grew closer to Israel after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the paper said.

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