Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry says Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's visit to Baku is focused only on "bilateral relations and is not directed against" Iran or any other country.
Lieberman's visit on April 23-24 came amid reports that Israel and Azerbaijan have been tightening their relations ahead of possible Israeli military action targeting the nuclear program of Azerbaijan's neighbor Iran.
Azerbaijan and Israel have both denied a report in the U.S. magazine "Foreign Policy" saying that Israel had gained access to Azerbaijani airfields to assist in a possible Iran attack, with Lieberman calling the reports "science fiction" and a "James Bond story."
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (right) welcomes his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, in Baku in June 2009.
Ties between Azerbaijan and Iran were also strained recently over news that Israel had reached a $1.6 billion deal to supply weapons to Azerbaijan.
Based on reporting by "The Jerusalem Post" and RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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