Last updated: 22 April, 2012

Israel’s Lieberman visiting Azerbaijan and Switzerland

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will leave on Sunday for Azerbaijan and Switzerland where he will meet senior officials, his office said in a statement.

In a two-day visit to Baku, Lieberman will be holding talks with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and other senior officials, it said.

Leiberman will speak at a ceremony marking 20 years of Azeri-Israeli diplomatic ties and meet leaders of the local Jewish community. He will also attend the inauguration of a Jewish cultural centre.

On Tuesday Lieberman will meet Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter in Bern.

Last month, a US report that Azerbaijan had granted Israel access to its air bases — which could assist in potential strikes against its neighbour Iran — were firmly denied by Baku.

Relations between Baku and Tehran have become increasingly strained in recent months with Iran unhappy about Azerbaijan’s friendly links with Israel and its reported purchase of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the Jewish state.