Cohen: Lieberman’s appointment as Israel’s defense minister to ensure successful co-op between defense establishments of Israel, Azerbaijan

May 21, 2016
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva

The Israeli Defense Minister nominee Avigdor Lieberman is no stranger to Azerbaijan, Ariel Cohen, PhD, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and director of the Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, told Trend May 21.

“A Moldovan-born Russian speaker, he is popular in Baku and other capitals of their former Soviet Union – a region he understands well,” said Cohen.

The expert said that having Lieberman, who is now the second most important politician of Israel, in the defense minister’s office in Tel-Aviv will ensure the successful cooperation between the defense establishments of Israel and Azerbaijan, including the military – industrial projects.

Such cooperation is very much in the interest of both parties, he added.

“Avigdor Lieberman’s policy, supported by Prime Minister Netanyahu, is that of geopolitical diversification for Israel. That includes improving ties with Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union, which he knows very well,” said Cohen adding that in the last decade Israel also vastly improved ties with India, China, and even the Arab world.

The expert also noted that lacking natural resources, and existing for almost seven decades through conflicts and hostile environment, Israel is an overall economic success story, which is also a good model for Azerbaijan.

“The Israeli experience demonstrates that creating a diversified economy which is based on a highly educated workforce, modern industry and services is the key to the country’s social and economic success – something Azerbaijan may examine,” said Cohen and added that having a friend like Lieberman in a key position in the Israeli cabinet will help.

Avigdor Lieberman accepted the offer of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take the post of defense minister in the new coalition government with the participation of the “Israel our Home” party, Israel’s news agency reported earlier.