BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 6. The past year was very positive in relations between Azerbaijan and Israel, as the long-awaited decision was made to open the Azerbaijani embassy in Tel Aviv, Israeli political expert Mikhail Finkel told STMEGI, Trend reports.
"This is a very important milestone between bilateral relations, which have been very friendly and allied since Azerbaijan’s regaining its statehood after the collapse of the USSR. Israel immediately recognized Azerbaijan and opened its embassy,” Finkel reminded.
“For many years we were waiting for the opening of the Azerbaijani embassy in Israel. The decision on its opening was ratified and we are very happy about it. Prior to this step, Azerbaijan opened its trade mission in Israel, implements numerous projects, and joint cooperation in a number of areas,” he said. “This, of course, includes business cooperation between Israeli and Azerbaijani private companies, as well as cooperation between government agencies in various areas, growing cooperation in the field of military and defense technologies, and agriculture.”
According to the expert, it’s no secret that Azerbaijan has a lot of fertile land, and Israel has much less land, but there are a lot of unique technologies which help to use any land for agriculture.
"Thanks to advanced technology, land unsuitable for agriculture in Israel is now yielding crops. In general, Israeli agriculture is considered one of the most technologically advanced in the world,” Finkel noted. “New plant varieties are being developed here, innovative irrigation systems have been launched, automation and modern interfaces are being introduced. The state also exports its knowledge and experience to many countries of the world.”
He also noted the potential for cooperation in the field of medical technologies between Israel and Azerbaijan.
"The pharmaceutical industry around the world is developing successfully - both countries could determine a plan of action in this direction, given that Israel has a highly developed medicine. In 2020, Azerbaijan and Israel have done a big work, successfully implemented rather many projects, and have become even closer to each other in 2022, but this is not the limit,” the expert said.
“I’m convinced that much can and should be expanded in bilateral relations. For example, it’s very important to improve student exchange so that Israeli students have the opportunity to study in Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijani students in Israel,” Finkel pointed out. “It would be good if Israel cancels the tourist visa for Azerbaijani citizens. Israel has already done a lot in this direction for the citizens of the former USSR republics.”
He noted that Israel has canceled tourist visas for citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Baltic states.
“There is still a visa for citizens of Azerbaijan. This should be removed and the doors should be opened for Azerbaijanis in Israel. In the future a step will be taken in this direction. In 2023, I see many new opportunities for deepening Azerbaijani-Israeli relations," concluded the expert.