(Photo Credit:Nicole Laskavi/MOD)
Azerbaijan welcomed Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday, 4 October, to discuss a series of defense-related issues and cooperation between the countries.
Gantz held a series of meetings with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov, to bolster cooperation in defense and discuss security and policy issues on Monday.
According to the office of the defense minister, Gantz also held a meeting with Chief of the State Border Service Colonel General Elchin Guliyev and visited a State Border Service headquarters.
The visit was to “emphasize the importance of maintaining strategic relations between the State of Israel and the Republic of Azerbaijan,” according to Gantz’s office, and “reflected on the changes in [West Asia] following the signing of the Abraham Accords.”
A day later, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar made his way to Baku to discuss the armed conflict with Armenia and the cooperation of the armed forces.
The defense ministers also highlighted the importance of holding joint military exercises in the future to increase the “level of professionalism of military personnel.” The next joint-drill will take place in Turkey on 14 October.
The visit of Israel’s and Turkey’s war chiefs comes after renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia just two weeks ago.
While Azerbaijan accused Armenia of cross-border provocations, Armenia claims that Azerbaijan’s attacks were unprovoked, targeting areas deep inside Armenian territory.
Heavy artillery fire being reported from Azerbaijan towards Armenia. pic.twitter.com/q3uNO4mJHi
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) September 12, 2022
US-based Genocide Watch issued a genocide warning on 23 September “due to Azerbaijan’s unprovoked military attacks on Armenia and on the unrecognized Armenian Republic of Artsakh.”
“Azerbaijani military attacks on Armenian territory show Azerbaijani disregard for Armenian sovereignty,” the report added.
Israel and Turkey are both supporters of Azerbaijan, providing military equipment and weapons to Azerbaijan’s armed forces.
In addition, Iran is a direct neighbor of Azerbaijan and the border between both countries is used to smuggle weapons to militant groups operating inside the Islamic Republic.
Nationwide protests and violent riots over recent weeks in Iran have put security forces on edge, leading to increased activity of cross-border smuggling and attacks against the country’s armed forces and security personnel.