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Lieberman denies Israel has access to Azerbaijan air bases

JTA

April 23, 2012 | 3:14 pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied a report that Israel was granted access to air bases in Azerbaijan.

Lieberman made the remarks to reporters Monday in Baku, where he is meeting with high-ranking government officials.

“Such reports are from the sphere of science fiction and do not correspond with the truth,” Lieberman said, according to Reuters.

Lieberman’s visit comes a month after the American magazine Foreign Policy reported that Israel was granted access to four former Soviet air bases in the Caucasus nation, raising the fears of U.S. officials that it is readying an attack on Iran. Azerbaijani officials also denied the report.

Lieberman met Monday with President Ilham Aliyev in which they discussed bilateral relations and Iran, Lieberman said, according to Reuters. The Israeli official said relations between Israel and Azerbaijan “could not be better.”

In February, the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries inked a $1.6 billion deal to sell drones, anti-aircraft and missile defense systems to Azerbaijan.

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