Israel Exploring Gas Link With Azerbaijan

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (C) arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Yerushalayim on Sunday. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu informed the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday that Israel is examining the possibility of a natural gas linkup with Azerbaijan.

Noting that Israel imports “almost half of our oil from Azerbaijan,” Netanyahu said that “we want to check the possibility of linking up to their gas pipeline, which supplies gas to all of Europe.”

Speaking of last week’s trip to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, he said: “We have expanded ties with them — security and others. Our welcome was extraordinary. This was the second visit [to Azerbaijan] by a prime minister; the first was by me 19 years ago. This was the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to Kazakhstan, a gigantic country in central Asia, which has wide-ranging ties with Russia and China, and also with Iran. It wants to open its markets to Israeli investments — and to Israel’s major efforts in agriculture, technology, industry and — of course — security. These were breakthroughs.”

While touting his foreign policy successes, Netanyahu took a swipe at the local media:

“I say this based on the knowledge that what I say here will not be broadcast, just as this historic visit was barely mentioned in the media. But this was a historic visit in every respect. These are two important Islamic countries that admire the state of Israel, there is no other way to put it, and that want to tighten links with us.

“There is an additional importance: These are Islamic countries that are cultivating coexistence between various faiths, first and foremost between Muslims and Jews, and are making efforts to embrace Israel. This is of very great importance given what is occurring in the complete opposite direction in our region and in other parts of the world. Therefore, this visit was of very great importance both for Israel and in general. In the clear knowledge that these things will not be mentioned or recycled in the media, I say them here, merely to test the veracity of my remarks.”

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