BAKU: Avigdor Lieberman: I Hope Transportation Of Azerbaijani Oil To


Azeri Press Agency, Azerbaijan
Aug 14 2007

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister: I hope Azerbaijan-Israel Chamber of
Commerce will operate soon

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs,
Avigdor Lieberman’s interview to APA

-What is the aim of your upcoming visit to Azerbaijan?

-I have twice visited Baku. I visited Baku as the chief of Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in 1997. I met with the then
Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev at his residence near the Caspian
Sea at that time. We had a long talk with him and his accurate
and profound approach towards the ongoing processes in the world
amazed me. I felt his hot attitude to Israeli nation. Success of
Azerbaijani-Israel relations is the result of it. We are interested
in the development and continuation of Israeli-Azerbaijani relations.

Economic relations between the two countries are developing
continuously at present, trade turnover is rising. Big organization
of the migrants from Azerbaijan has been established in Israel,
parliamentary group regarding Azerbaijan is operating in Israeli
Knesset, and the number of high-level official visits between the two
countries has increased. My visit to Azerbaijan will serve further
development of these relations. Meeting with Jewish community in Baku,
opening of Jewish Center is expected in the framework of the visit.

-What issues will be discussed during your visit?

– Joint fight against terrorism, cooperation in energy, simplification
of visa regime between the two countries will be focused on. I hope
an agreement will be reached on the transportation of Azerbaijani
oil to Israel, I will have several meetings regarding it. I will meet
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament
Ogtay Asadov, and also have meeting with several ministers regarding
intercommunity relations during my visit.

-Are you going to discuss Iran’s nuclear program with Azeri officials?

-Our position on Iran’s nuclear program is the same as that of world
community. For the time being, Iran’s nuclear program is discussed at
the UN Security Council. It is not only Israel’s problem. It has to
be solved within the framework of dialogue held by the UN Security
Council, International Atomic Energy Agency, and European Union
with Iran.

-What do you think of Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict?

-Our position on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains the same. The
conflict should be solved within the framework of Azerbaijan’s
territorial integrity and sovereignty. The conflict is to be solved
by means of negotiations mediated by the UN and other international

-Will you debate on opening Azerbaijan’s embassy in Israel?

-We understand all geopolitical hurdles on the way of
opening Azerbaijan’s embassy in Israel. I hope for establishing
Azerbaijan-Israel Chamber of Commerce at least. I highly appreciate
our cooperation in humanitarian and cultural spheres.