Netanyahu to visit Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for a visit to two Muslim countries.

Netanyahu left on Tuesday morning for a combined diplomatic and economic visit to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

“These are two large and significant countries in the Islamic world and our goal is to strengthen diplomatic, security and economic relations with them. In complete contrast to what is heard from time to time, not only is Israel not suffering from diplomatic isolation, Israel is a country that is coming back,” Netanyahu said as he boarded a plane on Tuesday. “These countries want very much to strengthen ties with Israel and following the strengthening of our relations with the major powers of Asia, with countries in Africa and with countries in Latin America, now come ties with important countries in the Islamic world.”

It is the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to Kazakhstan, Netanyahu said.  It is the second such visit to Azerbaijan. Netanyahu was the first Israeli prime minister to visit Azerbaijan nearly two decades ago during his first term as prime minister, when he met with the father of the current leader.


“This is part of a clear policy of going out to the world. Israel’s relations are flourishing in an unprecedented manner,” Netanyahu said.

Azerbaijan, a secular state with 98 percent of its population Muslim, has a long border with Iran. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with members of the Jewish community while he is there. The Jewish population of Azerbaijan is about 20,000.

Netanyahu also will meet with representatives of the Jewish community in Kazakhstan, his second stop on the trip. Estimates of the number of Jews in the country range as high as 30,000.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)