BAKU: Azerbaijan & Israel Are Very Similar From Geopolitical Point O


Trend News Agency
July 23 2009

Member of Knesset, Head of Israeli Parliament, Robert Ilatov spoke
with Trend News in an exclusive interview.

Trend News: Israeli President Shimon Peres’s historical visit
to Azerbaijan opened a new page in relations between the two
countries. What field of cooperation do You regard the most promising
for further development of the Azerbaijani-Israeli relations?

Robert Ilatov: Of course, this was a historical visit. We look
forward to the Azerbaijani president’s response visit to Israel in
the near future. In principle, it really gives a powerful impetus
to the development of the relations. Israel treats Azerbaijan very
warmly since its independence. In response, we get the same warm
treatment. But, of course, cooperation between the two states, the
two parliaments and the two presidents will be adjusted to a higher
rhythm … Our nations are similar in many ways. We have almost
the same number of population and true, Azerbaijan’s area is more
than Israel by four times, but from the geopolitical point of view,
we are very similar. Israel has a conflict with the Palestinians,
Azerbaijan – the outstanding issues with Armenian.

I think that there are all opportunities in all interesting fields
for our countries to process these interests, exchange experiences
and help each other.

Q: How do You see further expansion of cooperation of Azerbaijan and
Israel in the field of energy?

A: Every third liter of oil in Israel is the Azerbaijani oil. Regarding
gas, I think that there will be common deals. Despite such large
volumes, there is a potential to increase them. Israel has much to
offer to the other side to improve the economy. We have a lot of
technology, development of which can raise not only oil, but also
any other industry of Azerbaijan. You know, the people’s employment
develops economy. For example, in 1960 years, Israel has assisted in
reforming the economy of Singapore, and now look at this country. We
are prepared to assist Azerbaijan in developing its economy.

Q: Recently, the many note progress on the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict. How does Israel see resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani

A: We offer Azerbaijan to solve the conflict peacefully, as we try
to resolve the issue with the Palestinians. And, although these
attempts have so far not been successful, I think that here [the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] the problem is not so complicated. There
are states, organizations that are interested in a peaceful solution
to this conflict, and it seems to me that this is the only way out
of this situation.

Q: Turkey mediated in the indirect Syrian-Israeli negotiations,
although Syria and Israel refuse to sit at the negotiating table
at the moment. How do You assess Turkey’s role in the Middle East
peace process?

A: Turkey is Israel’s strategic partner and we have a strategic
agreement, both in economic and other fields. We are very careful
about the relations with Turkey. Syria is closely cooperating with
Iran, supplying Hezbollah with large quantities of weapons, which
started a war against Israel three years ago. Syria has and teaches
terrorists in its territory. Therefore, the negotiations with the
country can begin only when the Syrians will clean the table, and
they do not incite terrorist groups against us.

As long as Syria does not refuse from the ties with terrorist
organizations and Iran which has great ambitions to develop creeping
Islamic terror, we cannot afford to Syria sit with us at the
negotiating table

Q: How can Turkey use a strategic partnership with Israel and Syria
to advance the peace process?

A: Turkey is a geopolitical bridge and it can continue to help Israel
in talks with a number of Islamic countries, including Syria. Turkey
will be able to participate in the peace process.

Q: What can You say about the issue for consideration of "Armenian
genocide" in the Knesset?

A: Each member is free at the Israeli Parliament. Member can include
any issue in the agenda. Everyone has their point of view, and the
Israeli Parliament is obliged to take into account the opinion of
each. But this does not mean that every question raised is to be
adopted, that is, the question may be withdrawn from the agenda. We
have several members, who believe the Turks committed genocide against
Armenians, but in a few decades, Israel removed the issue from the
agenda and I believe that parliamentarians’ new attempt will have
the same end. Israel has a clear position on this issue. There are
international organizations that must deal with this issue ["Armenian
genocide".] This is not an issue of Israel and even any parliament. The
Armenians must prove their truth in all international organizations,
they cannot do it. And as they are not able to do so, the recognition
of this or that parliament does not prove the fact of genocide. They
must provide all international organizations with evidences, as the
Jews did it on the Holocaust.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS