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Azerbaijan opened its first trade representation office in Tel Aviv, marking the central Asian country’s first official presence in Israel since the two countries established relations almost 30 years ago.

Mikayil Jabbarov, Azerbaijan’s minister of economy, and Israeli Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov both cut the opening ribbon at the office on Thursday. Razvozov said the “launch of Azerbaijan’s official Trade and Tourism Representation in Tel Aviv represents another historic event in the warm relations between the countries.”

“I would like to congratulate [Azerbaijani] President Ilham Aliyev on ratifying this important decision that will further bolster the partnership between our countries,” he continued. “It will doubtless serve as a focal point for Israeli entrepreneurs in fields including energy, medicine, water treatment, agriculture and investments.”

George Deek, Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan, said, “for the first time there will be an Azerbaijani flag waving in Israel. This will create opportunities for our relations to become stronger and more diverse, bringing our countries and peoples closer together. I believe this is another step toward opening an embassy of Azerbaijan in Israel. Next year we will celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations and friendship between our countries. Inshallah we will all celebrate it together in Azerbaijan and Israel.”

Although Israel established diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan in 1991, the latter has yet to open an embassy in the Jewish state.

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