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Relations Between Azerbaijan And Israel Developing In Wartime

Baku-Tel Aviv Route Reopens Despite Ongoing Conflict, Signaling Robust Ties Between Nations

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As of March 19, Azerbaijan Airlines are now resuming their direct flights to Tel Aviv, even though the war is not over because of the strong friendship between the two countries. (Photo: aze.media.)

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Today, the Azerbaijan Tourism Board hosted a brunch in Tel Aviv, where Benjamin Kurmayev, the representative of Azerbaijan Airlines in Israel, announced the resumption of Baku-Tel Aviv flights to a group of Israeli journalists attending a Novruz celebration. Due to the war, Azerbaijan Airlines had cut off its direct flights between Baku and Tel Aviv, alongside many other major airlines.

Azerbaijan Airlines did this due to the security risks posed with flying into Tel Aviv during the midst of the present war. During this period, Hamas was firing many rockets into the area and this posed a major threat to civilian aircraft.      

But as of March 19, Azerbaijan Airlines are now resuming their direct flights to Tel Aviv, even though the war is not over because of the strong friendship between the two countries. This makes the move very significant, as it highlights how much Baku wants Israeli tourists to be able to visit their country in a comfortable manner, rather than having to connect via an EL AL flight to Tbilsi, Georgia. Airlines is now to carry three weekly flights from Baku to Tel Aviv and from Tel Aviv to Baku on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. From April, the number will increase to nine per week.

“Looking forward to having more Israeli tourists in Azerbaijan with just a 3-hour flight,” tweeted Azerbaijani Ambassador to Israel Mukhtar Mammadov in response to the announcement.  

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In 2023, about 24,000 Israelis despite the war visited Azerbaijan and now these numbers are expected to increase with the resumption of direct flights. The fact that Azerbaijan Airlines decided to resume the direct flights to Tel Aviv even though the war is not over is a sign of the strong friendship between Israel and Azerbaijan.  

During the event, Jamilya Talibzadeh, the director of the Israel branch of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board, delivered a presentation about the Novruz holiday and suggested places for Israelis to travel to within Azerbaijan. Among the places that she recommended that Israelis visit are the Ateshgah Fire Temple, Yanardag Burning Mountain, Shamakhi, Sheki Khan’s Palace, among other places.  

Last year, Azerbaijan made history by becoming the first majority Shia country to open up an embassy in Tel Aviv. The countries have enjoyed warm and friendly relations since the Caucuses country broke off from the Soviet Union, even prior to the establishment of an Azerbaijani Embassy in Israel.  

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Azerbaijan supplies Israel with 30% of its energy needs, while Israel is a major arms supplier to Baku. Israeli weapons played a pivotal role in helping the Caucuses country to defeat Armenia in the 2020 Second Karabakh War and to help Baku maintain its strategic edge against any threats emerging from Yerevan and Tehran, who despises the Aliyev government due to their friendship with Israel and opposition to religious extremism.  

Additionally, Israel and Azerbaijan have been cooperating on desalination projects. Zaur Mikayilov, Chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Water Resource Agency, noted the existence of a pilot project for desalinating water from the Caspian Sea to be utilized to serve Baku’s water needs that included the collaboration of Israeli firms, as Mekorot, Israel’s national water operator, meets 90 percent of Israel’s drinking water demand, with about 60 percent supplied by the desalination of seawater. Azerbaijan inspired by Israel’s success hopes to follow suite.  

Last month, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev met with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog at the Munich Security Conference, where both leaders reaffirmed the strong friendship between Israel and Azerbaijan as Israel continues to fight against the brutal Hamas terror organization.   About 30,000 Jews live in Azerbaijan, while tens of thousands of Jews from Azerbaijan immigrated to Israel and maintain close ties with the Caucuses country.     

Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and an Israel-based journalist.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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