Azerbaijani Politics 13 september — 14:15

Details of Zakir Hasanov's visit to Israel

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BY FARHAD MAMMADOV

Azerbaijani Defence Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov continues his visit to Israel. This is the first official visit of the head of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry to Israel, which is held in a fairly closed regime.

Until now, only protocol information about the arrival of Zakir Hasanov in the country and his meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as well as the visit of the Azerbaijani defence minister to the Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem and a meeting with the brother of the National Hero of Azerbaijan, Albert Agarunov, have been published so far.

The other meetings and talks of the head of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry in Israel are classified.

The official reports of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry say that Zakir Hasanov will visit the Israeli Air Force control centre, as well as the defence industry enterprises. At the same time, it is noted that the visit program envisages the participation of the Azerbaijani minister in other events.

Of course, within the framework of the visit, discussions will be held on a broad aspect of the issues of military-technical cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel. In the Russian expert circles, it is believed that the Azerbaijani defence minister will discuss the implementation of the contract for the purchase of anti-missile defence systems 'Iron Dome.' Russian military experts also suggest that they will consider the possibility of Azerbaijan acquiring other weapons systems of Israeli production.

Azerbaijan has already bought Israeli weapons worth $5 billion. All the acquired systems were adopted by the Azerbaijani Army and successfully used. We are talking about several anti-tank missile systems, Barak-8 anti-missile defence systems, numerous modifications of unmanned aerial vehicles, including attack drones, high-speed patrol boats and radar systems, as well as electronic protection equipment.

This time, the Azerbaijani defence minister is unlikely to limit himself to acquaintance with Israeli weapons. The visit, apparently, is designed to study the combat experience and tactics of the Israeli military, as well as the practice of command and control of troops.

It is noteworthy that the visit of the Azerbaijani defence minister coincided with the largest military exercises of the Israeli army in the last 20 years, named 'Or HaDagan' (Grain Light).

The Israeli Army is one of the most combat-ready in the world. The Israeli Armed Forces won all the wars, in which they ever took part. From this point of view, planning and conducting military operations by Israeli military specialists, studying their experience in defence and the transition to the counteroffensive is of great value for the Azerbaijani Army.

With full confidence, we can say that after the visit of Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov, we will witness an even greater strengthening and expansion of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel in the military sphere.

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