Azerbaijan appointed its first ambassador to Israel this week. According to Azerbaijan’s state news outlet Haqqin.az, Deputy Minister of Science and Education Mukhtar Mammadov has been appointed as the country’s first ambassador to the Jewish State.

“Congratulations and good luck to the first Azerbaijani ambassador to Israel!” tweeted George Deek, Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan, upon news of the announcement.

Born in 1983 in Baku, Mammadov worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2013. This included his work at the Azerbaijani embassy in Belgium from 2009 to 2013. Since 2013, under the Ministry of Education, he has been head of the international cooperation department. In April 2021, he became the Deputy Minister of Science and Education. In this capacity, Mammadov supervised projects of innovative cooperation with Israel in the field of science and education.

Mammadov is fluent in Russian, English and Turkish.

“I warmly congratulate my colleague Mukhtar Mammadov on being appointed as the first ambassador of Azerbaijan to Israel,” tweeted Mammad Talibov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras. “I wish you the best and greatest success in your endeavors and in your new role.”

The announcement comes after Azerbaijan announced in November that it would open an embassy in Israel. Former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited Azerbaijan in October to discuss policy and foster defense cooperation.

Last April, Azerbaijan opened a tourism office in Israel for the first time and signed a cooperation agreement. The month also marked the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Both Israel and Azerbaijan see Iran as a threat. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Israel buys 40% of its oil from Azerbaijan and supplied 27% of Azerbaijan’s major arms imports from 2011 to 2020, including 69% from 2016 to 2020.

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