Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is visiting Baku amid reports that Tel Aviv may use Azerbaijan’s soil to launch a military attack against Iran.
Lieberman arrived in Baku on Sunday to hold talks with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and other high-ranking officials.
During his two-day visit, he will also speak at a ceremony marking 20 years of Azerbaijan-Israel relations and attend the inauguration of a Jewish cultural centre. He is also scheduled to meet leaders of the local Jewish community.
After his visit to Azerbaijan, Lieberman will stop in Switzerland for a meeting with his Swiss counterpart Didier Burkhalter.
The visit to Baku comes as improving relations between Israel and Azerbaijan have been the topic of Western media recently.
Last month, a report published in the American magazine Foreign Policy said that Azerbaijan has granted Israel access to airbases in the country.
“The Israelis have bought an airfield and the airfield is called Azerbaijan,” a senior US official told the magazine.
According to the report, US intelligence officials believe that the move is in line with Israel’s plan to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The West accuses Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program with Tel Aviv using this pretext to threaten Iran with a military option.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Israel is a non-signatory to the NPT.
Israel, which is widely believed to possess between 200 to 400 nuclear warheads, maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity over its nuclear work.