The Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan called on Baku to stand beside Ankara in its diplomatic struggle against Israel and "reconsider" its relations with the Jewish State, a Persian-language US-based website reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Ambassador Hulusi Kilic said that Israel should take into account "possible problems" with the oil pipeline that crosses from Azerbaijan to Turkey, and also supplies oil to Israel. He did not go into further details.
The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline supplies 10-20% of Israel's oil consumption. A similar amount is supplied to Israel by Kazakhstan, through the same pipeline that crosses through Turkey.
Responding to the Turkish ambassador's comments, the website quoted Israel's Ambassador to Baku Michael Lavon Lotem as saying that third-party interests should not be allowed to affect the strategic relations between Jerusalem and Baku.
Azerbaijan has become an important strategic asset for Israel's security and foreign affairs. In 2010, the trade between the two countries totaled more than $2 billion – double than the trade between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Israel also supplies Azerbaijan advanced military equipment and helps train its army. As part of the cooperation between the two states, Israeli defense systems manufacturer Elbit Systems recently opened an office in the former soviet republic, and is planning to build a plant for the joint production of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Baku has yet to issue a response to the Turkish ambassador's remarks, but the head of the Azeri Press Office told the local radio station that Azerbaijan hopes the "crisis between Israel and Turkey ends soon."
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