The Armenian Foreign Ministry summons its ambassador from Israel to consult on arms sales to Azerbaijan

The Armenian Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that it had summoned its ambassador from Israel to consult over allegations of selling Israeli weapons to Azerbaijan.

“The Israeli way of working is unacceptable,” said Anna Ndalian, a spokeswoman for the ministry. 

The ministry had to recall its ambassador to Israel.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry regretted Thursday night’s summoning of Yerevan its ambassador to Israel, which Armenia accuses of selling weapons to its rival Azerbaijan, which it uses to control the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region.

According to the database of the International Peace Research Institute in Stockholm, Israel represented the first known foreign arms supplier to Azerbaijan between 2017 and 2019, with sales exceeding $ 375 million.

The Israeli press indicated that the “Elbit Systems” company last year sold the first parts of a series of new military drones to Azerbaijan, with which Israel maintains diplomatic relations since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

“Israel regrets the decision of Armenia to summon the Armenian ambassador to Israel for consultations,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry commented in a letter sent to the press at night. 

Israel attaches importance to its relationship with Armenia and considers that the Armenian embassy in Israel is an important tool to enhance relations and benefits for our peoples.

Armenia, which has also maintained relations with Israel since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, opened its first embassy on Israeli territory in Tel Aviv in mid-September.

A number of Israeli media indicated that due to the arms sales, the Hebrew state is at the heart of the conflict alongside Azerbaijan, which is also supported by Turkey, which has troubled relations with Israel.

The Jerusalem Post went on to say that Turkey, which is different with Israel on a number of files, including Libya, gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seeks to “isolate” Israel and sell its military equipment to Azerbaijan, including drones.

For his part, Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan said, on Thursday, that his country had shot down four drones in two regions near the capital Yerevan, while a Reuters witness in the city saw a glowing object in the sky amid clashes with Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan added on social media that four drones appeared in Armenian airspace in the Kotayk and Ggarkonik regions, and were destroyed by the Armenian air defense forces, as the conflict with Azerbaijan intensified for the fifth day.