Minister of Transport and Road Safety Merav Michaeli and Minister of Digital Development and Transportation of Azerbaijan Rashad Nabiyev on Thursday signed a bilateral aviation agreement that will allow Israeli and Azerbaijani airlines to operate scheduled passenger and cargo flights more frequently than they do currently, connecting any point in Israel with any point in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan and Israel have been cooperating since 1992, and Azerbaijan is one of a growing number of Muslim countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel. Israel has had an embassy in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, since 1993. However, Azerbaijan, despite repeated promises it has made over the years, has yet to open an embassy in Israel, maintaining a tourism and commerce office in Tel Aviv instead.
In 2008, Azerbaijani police thwarted an attempt to blow up the Israeli embassy in Baku. Two Hezbollah terrorists were prosecuted for the attack.
Minister Michaeli said during the meeting: “Transport is not just a matter of physically getting from place to place, it is a basis for international cooperation and regional economic development. I thank the Minister of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan for signing this significant transport agreement that will benefit both countries and upgrade our relations in the field of aviation.”
Minister Nabiyev said: “The relationship between our countries is constantly developing, and over the past 30 years our countries have built flourishing ties of bilateral importance. The document we are signing today marks a further deepening in our relations.”
The agreement upgrades the aviation relations between the two countries, bolsters the existing agreement by making it an international treaty, strengthening the political and strategic relations of Israel and Azerbaijan.
As of 2015, the trade balance between Israel and Azerbaijan stands at $266 million, of which Israeli exports to Azerbaijan stand at $260 million, and imports at $6.2.