Israel Invites Azeri Leader To Tel Aviv; Expert Denies Armenian Claims, Hails Ties With Baku

Farid Hajili Interview 18 June 2020
Israel Invites Azeri Leader To Tel Aviv; Expert Denies Armenian Claims, Hails Ties With Baku

“Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Israel. Mr. President, I take this opportunity to invite you to make a historic visit to the State of Israel to celebrate this significant event in our relations,” the Israeli president writes in his letter to Azerbaijani opposite number Ilham Aliyev. 

The Israeli concern Israel Aerospace Industries officially announced the successful completion of tests of an operational-tactical missile system with a single-stage solid-fuel ballistic missile LORA (Long-Range Artillery Weapon System), The Jerusalem Post newspaper writes.

Azerbaijan is the first and only country where Israel has supplied these missile systems. It is worth underscoring that LORA was adopted by the Azerbaijani army two years ago. The head of the representative office of the Baku International Center for Multiculturalism in Israel, a well-known Israeli expert on international relations, Arye Gut, told “Day” news program on the Israeli TV Channel 9.

According to Gut, Armenians with a certain degree of envy note that in 2018, an Israeli company delivered missiles to Azerbaijan, which they tested only in 2020. “The new missiles have slightly different characteristics, but did the company want to test its missiles in the field, for which, it decided to send unchecked deadly weapons to the republic at war with Armenia?” the Armenian media noted.

Arye Gut noted that first of all, the fact that if Azerbaijan became the first and only country where Israel delivered these missiles is a real and genuine answer to those pro-Armenian forces in Israel that the Israeli-Azerbaijani relations are of strategic nature; interstate, political and military-technical partnership are at the highest level of trust coupled with the ongoing dialogue.

Despite the fact that this partnership used to be oriented towards the energy sector, this partnership is currently diversifying into other sectors of the economy, including agriculture, the high-tech industry, healthcare, and the military-technical partnership. Israeli defense companies actively participated and continue to participate in the construction of the Azerbaijani military industry. It should be noted that Israel is one of the main strategic buyers of Azerbaijani oil in the world market.

“From this point of view, it is worth saying to the Armenian lobbyists that it is not good at all to envy our strategic relations. Thanks to successful geopolitical and geoeconomic initiatives, Azerbaijan has become the most powerful geopolitical pivot and the regional leader, without the participation and consent of which no political, economic, transport issue in this strategic region of the world, such as the South Caucasus, can be resolved. Over the 28-year history of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Israel, the necessity and viability of strategic relations between the Jewish state and the state with a Muslim majority has been proved. Our friendly countries truly interact as true and reliable strategic partners.”

Second, LORA (Long-Range Artillery Missile) is an operational-tactical missile system with a single-stage solid-fuel ballistic missile that can be used both in land and sea based options to destroy infrastructure elements (communication centers, power plants, etc.) and air defense batteries deep inside the enemy’s territory, the Israeli expert said.

Arye Gut emphasized that this missile passed successful tests in the Mediterranean Sea in March 2004 and is successfully operating and is used in the Israel Defense Forces.

The new tests of the LORA rocket are tests of a slightly new modification, but by and large to say that Israel delivered to Azerbaijan without testing looks so stupid, inadequate, irrelevant and far from professionalism.

In addition, any weapons of any country supplied to Azerbaijan pass the test and necessary tests in the armed forces of Azerbaijan. And after that, Armenia counts on some kind of trusting relations with Israel. I want to remind you that the Israeli military-industrial complex is a rather serious structure and a very serious team of professionals, operating under the full control of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

The current Azerbaijani army is a powerful, most modern equipment and weapons, the highest combat readiness, discipline and fighting spirit of the personnel. The difference in financial capabilities is reflected in the difference in the defense and offensive potential of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

And in modern warfare, as noted by Arye Gut, the winner is the one who has more advanced highly technological means of ensuring military operations. Suffice it to recall the effective use of Israeli strike drones against the Armenian occupiers during the April 2016 operation, and this can be discussed for a very long time.

And no one forgot that in response to the military provocations of Armenia and in order to ensure the safety of their citizens, the Azerbaijani armed forces launched a crushing military strike on the Armenian army in early April 2016,” the Israeli expert emphasized.

Arye Gut emphasized that statements by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his defense minister about the impossibility of continuing negotiations with Azerbaijan lead to the fact that war becomes the only way for official Baku to achieve justice.

“A few months ago, I was on the line of contact and really felt the vulnerability and precariousness of the ceasefire. Modern strong and independent Azerbaijan is no longer the country that was in the late 90s of the XX century. Everyone understands that without the support of a third country, a poor and poor Armenia could not occupy 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan. And the patience of Azerbaijan has long been at its limit. Official Baku has repeatedly stated and warned Armenia that it would never agree with the existing status quo. However, the delusional statements of the military and political leadership of Armenia indicate their concern, fear and panic,” the Israeli expert emphasized.

After the April events of 2016 - during the quick counterattack, the defense line of the Armenian army was destroyed and the Azerbaijani army returned several strategic heights and settlements under control - we really saw anti-Israeli hysteria and anti-Semitism in Armenia. Even in Israel, the Armenian diaspora held protests against the Azerbaijani-Israeli partnership.

Regarding the criticism of Armenia regarding Israeli-Azerbaijani military cooperation, it is necessary to emphasize that only Azerbaijan and Israel choose their friends and partners, and these countries themselves determine the level of strategic cooperation and partnership in the military-technical sphere, Arye Gut said.

In his view, the State of Israel supports the fair position of Azerbaijan - actively supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

“For over 28 years, the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories by Armenia continues. As a result of this aggression, there are 1m refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan.

In this difficult geopolitical situation, supporting Azerbaijan’s fair position by such an important strategic partner and a strong geopolitical actor in the Middle East as the State of Israel is very necessary and very important for Azerbaijan,” the pundit added.