There has been much speculation surrounding Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel, including reports that Israeli warplanes might use Azerbaijani airfields as support bases during a potential attack against Iran. The reality of the bilateral relationship is not so dramatic, as it is pragmatic.
We must keep in mind that neither country is an essential strategic asset for the other. From the Israeli point of view, relations with Azerbaijan represent the latest incarnation of a 'periphery strategy', under which Israel, surrounded by hostile Arab states, reaches out to the 'outer ring' of non-Arab, 'moderate' Muslim states. In bygone decades, Kemalist Turkey and monarchist Iran played this role.
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Eldar Mamedov is a political adviser to the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament, who writes in his personal capacity.