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Armenia must step up cooperation with Israel ‘to challenge Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem’ – expert

© Photo: Sputnik.am

Armenia needs to attach an increasing significance to its cooperation with Israel to confront the intensifying Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem, an expert in regional studies has said, commenting on a government plan to develop the diplomatic relations with the country.

It comes after Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said at the cabinet meeting on Thursday that Armenia will have an embassy in Tel Aviv as early as in 2020.

“Yes, chances are that Armenia will open an embassy in Tel Aviv at the beginning of next year, and hence we are going to have also an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Israel,” Karen Veranyan said in an interview with Tert.am, describing the idea as a good opportunity for adding a more substantial value to the interstate relations.

He also highlighted Israel’s increasing interest in the deepening of the bilateral cooperation. “The spheres of cooperation may vary from economy, trade and agriculture to healthcare and IT, etc. From this perspective, we can say indeed that there is a political willingness – both by Armenia and Israel – to build the bilateral relations on more substantial grounds. While Armenia’s Middle East policies focus largely on Iran and the Arab countries, Israel is, in a way, left out of that context. We need to bridge that gap, considering Israel’s role as a major stakeholder in the region. I think closer relations with Israel will increase Armenia’s weight on the regional level, enabling us to counteract also the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem,” Veranyan added.

Noting that the Armenian-Israeli relations have entered into an intensive phase, the expert admitted that such an interest is expressed reciprocally. Veranyan also pointed out to the existing conflicting positions, which he said cover almost every sectors. “A very important thing here is to develop the understanding that Armenia must not be a stage [of war] – as is often the case with Azerbaijan. On the other hand, Armenia has a good chance to deepen its relations with Iran while trying simultaneously to put the relations with Israel on more serious grounds,” he said, calling attention also to the developing Israel-Greece-Cyprus alliance (sponsored by the United States).

“We need to consider also this platform. Having a good experience of cooperation with Greece and Cyprus – as well as developing the bilateral relations with Israel – we can put the 3+1 format into an active circulation. On the other hand, that format – which is said to be anti-Turkish in nature – can offer a space of coinciding interests, which must be by all means used,” Veranyan added.


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