A predominantly Shiite Muslim country, bordering Russia to its north and Iran to its south, Azerbaijan established bilateral relations with Israel in the first year of its independence from the Soviet Union. Ayoob Kara explains the important role this small country can play in support of the free world, especially given the looming shortages of fuel and basic foodstuffs:
In recent days, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched a large-scale military drill along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border in an attempt to sabotage the fragile peace between the two countries. They are doing so because, for quite some time, Azerbaijan has helped the U.S. and Israel thwart regional terrorism—including terrorism sponsored by Iran—which threatens the entire Middle East. As a result, Iran has been using the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia to weaken Azerbaijan’s position in the West.
Anyone who cares about the future of Western civilization should not let that happen. . . . Israel has already vowed to provide Azerbaijan with the technical assistance it needs to engage in mass cultivation of wheat. It also held a three-day conference designed to showcase technology that can address problems of food security, which was attended by Azerbaijan’s deputy minister of agriculture.
Azerbaijan recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the EU that will supply the Europeans with at least 20 billion cubic meters of gas by 2027 via a future southern gas corridor. In the wake of the war in Ukraine, the EU needs reliable energy partners and it believes that Azerbaijan is such a partner, especially because the country’s economic freedom, pro-Western orientation, and positive atmosphere for religious minorities are very much in accordance with American and European values.