After the Caucasian country opened its embassy in Israel last week, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen will head to Azerbaijan after the Passover holiday.
He is slated to take off on April 18, and will spend the next day on a state visit in Baku, where he is expected to meet President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
The Foreign Ministry is also looking into the possibility for Cohen to fly to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on the 20th, to open an Israeli embassy there.
The visit is likely meant to send a message to Tehran. Ashgabat is only 15 miles from Iran, and Azerbaijan is an enticing partner for Israel, as it too sits on Iran’s northern border. Foreign reports have indicated that Baku likely allows Israel to use bases on its soil to launch reconnaissance flights over Iran and to send operatives into the country to disrupt its nuclear program. In addition, Azerbaijan provides 30 percent of Israel’s oil.
Tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan spiked in the aftermath of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, during which Israel provided key weapons systems to Baku.