Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu makes historic visit to two Muslim countries

Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to strengthen ties with leaders in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

Gabriel Samuels
Thursday 15 December 2016 15:08 GMT
Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran that Israel will stand up to their threats and aggression
Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran that Israel will stand up to their threats and aggression (Getty Images)

The Prime Minister of Israel has made a historic official visit to two Muslim countries in Central Asia, and stated he is ready to stand up to threats of aggression from Iran.

Benjamin Netanyahu became the first incumbent Israeli prime minister to visit Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, in an effort to forge closer ties to the region.

Mr Netanyahu conducted discussions with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who maintains relations with both Israel and Iran despite tensions between the two nations. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is due to visit the country next week.

Mr Netanyahu sees both countries as being important allies in trading and diplomatic matters. Both reportedly have an interest in investing in Israeli counter-terrorism technologies, according to Times of Israel.

After Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned Israel would be destroyed within 25 years, Mr Netanyahu told President Nazarbayev that Israel is a “tiger, not a rabbit” and would respond to threats with force.

Mr Netanyahu also said Mr Nazarbayev “responded positively” to his request to support Israel’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The prime minister added that the new relationships with Israel could serve as a model for diplomacy for Arab Muslim states.

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