Israel and Azerbaijan strengthen agriculture ties, and other economics

By | Rachel Brooks

March 10, 2021 

Image credit: “File:Beekeeping in Israel (1).JPG” by איתן פרמן is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 Israeli keepeer in 1976.

Among the agricultural ties between Israel and Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani professionals have been welcomed to MASHAV beekeeping professional programs. Israel intends to invest further in Azerbaijan post the Second Karabakh conflict, and agriculture is a priority for these post-conflict episode economics. 

Israel and Azerbaijan have enjoyed a healthy relationship following the dissolving of the Soviet Union in 1991. Israel was among the first to recognize Azerbaijan as a republic in the wake of the Soviet collapse. Since then, Israel and Azerbaijan have mutually invested in each other. The Jewish News Syndicate via Israel Hayom reported this week that Israeli companies aim to continue this tradition. 

As the Karabakh conflict episode of 2020 ended, the devastation in the warzone showed a long road to recuperation. Aryeh Gut, an expert on Israel-Azerbaijan relations, who is also the executive director of Azerbaijan House in Israel, stated that Israel and Azerbaijan have strengthened their diplomatic relations over agriculture, medicine, and defense, among other things. In this same spirit, Israel’s investment in infrastructure is a natural progression. 

Open doors with the Abraham Accords have benefits for Israel-Azerbaijan as well

Likewise, new pathways of policy have strengthened the possibility for Israel and Azerbaijan to pursue a stronger diplomatic relationship. In November, at the close of the Karabakh conflict 2020 era, Israel Hayom likewise reported that the already healthy relations between Israel and Azerbaijan were likely to improve due to the open door of the Abraham Accords. 

Israel Hayom cited former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara as their source. Kara stated that, due to the open policies of the Abraham Accords, some Muslim-Majority nations that had embassies in Tel Aviv only may now have the opportunity to open embassies in Jerusalem. Kara noted that the economic process was the most critical aspect of the new policies under the Abraham Accords. With more embassies opening in the Israeli capital, the prospects of greater economic opportunity exist. 

Aryeh Gut, speaking in the March interview with Israel Hayom, noted that Israel is a strategic investor in Azerbaijan’s energy sector. Gut also noted that, following the liberation of Karabakh, Israel intends to invest in the region’s future. 

Speaking in regards to the Abraham Accords, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov agreed that the Abraham Accords opened greater opportunity between Israel and Azerbaijan. Bayramov noted that Azerbaijan particularly admired Israel’s advanced agriculture sciences. Advanced Israeli agriculture technologies and practice have great potential to strengthen the already strong ties between the two nations. 

Advanced ag development a natural progression between the two states 

This is a natural post-conflict development as Israel has long opened its doors to Azerbaijan for agricultural initiatives. In 2017, Azerbaijani beekeeping professionals were among a group of peer beekeepers from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan who were invited to Israel to take part in a professional program. The program was developed to share the Israeli experience with honey production as well as advanced insights based upon Israeli research on the subject. See the MASHAV Aid from Israel for more.

Azerbaijan is the natural scene of diverse and exotic produce. The nation is famed for tea and pomegranates, as well as citrus to the south. An increased economic relationship in the field of agriculture is important as many of the nations fertile natural arable lands were destroyed in the conflict. Aghdam serves as a stark example. Natives of Aghdam pre-First Karabakh war recall it as paradisal in its ability to yield fruit trees, oaks, and flowers. Today, there is “nothing left of Aghdam” as the city was decimated by the bombings of the first episode of the Karabakh conflict.