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Armenia Snubs Israel Over Arms Sales To Azerbaijan


ISRAEL - Israeli Armenians are holding a rally in Jerusalem demanding that the Jewish state recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, October 24, 2020

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian used unusually strong terms in commenting on Israel’s supplies of weapons to Azerbaijan that are being applied against ethnic Armenians in the current conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Last month Israel offered humanitarian aid to both Azerbaijan and Armenia, but unlike Baku, Yerevan ignored that offer.

On October 1, four days after the start of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh and only two weeks after opening its embassy in Tel Aviv, Armenia recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest against continuing supplies of Israeli weapons to Azerbaijan.

Answering the question of The Jerusalem Post on whether Armenia is interested in the humanitarian aid offered by Israel, Pashinian queried rhetorically: “Humanitarian aid from a country selling weapons to mercenaries who target civilians?”

“I suggest that Israel send this aid to mercenaries and terrorists as a logical continuation of its activities,” the Armenian prime minister said.

In an exclusive interview with the Israeli newspaper published on November 3, Pashinian accused Israel of lining up with Turkey, terrorists and Syrian mercenaries in backing Azerbaijan in the current conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, stressing that it will eventually suffer the consequence of what he described as an “unholy alliance.”

Pashinian also said that Azerbaijan is intent on “carrying out genocide against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh,” according to the newspaper.

Armenia opened its embassy in Tel Aviv in September, one year after deciding to upgrade diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

Those relations have long been frosty, reflecting differing geopolitical priorities of the two states. Also, Yerevan has for years expressed concern over billions of dollars’ worth of advanced weapons, including sophisticated drones and missiles, which Israeli defense companies have sold, with the Israeli government’s blessing, to Azerbaijan over the past decade.

On October 5, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin expressed hope that Armenia will send its ambassador back to Israel.

“We welcome the opening of the Armenian Embassy in Israel and hope that the Armenian ambassador will return soon,” Rivlin said in a reported phone call with Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian.

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