Azerbaijan’s parliament has announced today a historic decision to open an embassy in Israel, becoming the first Shi’ite Muslim majority country to do so.

The embassy will be in Tel Aviv, where the country already has a Tourism Office and a Trade Representative Office. Israel and Azerbaijan have had relations for 30 years, and there has been an Israeli embassy in Baku since 1993.

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: “I welcome the decision by the National Assembly of Azerbaijan to open an embassy in Israel. Azerbaijan is an important partner of Israel and home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the Muslim world. The decision to open an embassy reflects the depth of the relationship between our countries.”

“This move is the result of the Israeli government’s efforts to build strong diplomatic bridges with the Muslim world,” he added.

“I want to thank President Ilham Aliyev and congratulate the Azeri people, who will now be represented for the first time in the State of Israel.”

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