Ya'alon Makes Surprise Visit to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, which has had bilateral relations with Israel for many years, is located next to Iran.

Tomer Appelbaum

Moshe Ya'alon became the first Israeli defense minister to visit the central Asian country of Azerbaijan, on a two-day unannounced trip. He landed in Baku on Wednesday for meetings with top government officials.

Azerbaijan, which has had bilateral relations with Israel for many years, is located next to Iran.

I am happy to be hosted here in the historical first visit of an Israeli defense minister to Azerbaijan, Yaalon said in Baku, in remarks that were posted on Twitter. Bilateral relations between us are fruitful, and there is a strategic relationship between the countries and cooperation in various fields.

Yaalon also is scheduled to meet with members of the small Jewish community of Azerbaijan, according to the Jerusalem Post.

He also will inaugurate the Israeli pavilion at the Adex international defense industry exhibition, which is being attended by 15 Israeli defense companies.