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Israeli President To Talk Business, Energy In Azerbaijan

Israeli President Shimon Peres
Israeli President Shimon Peres
BAKU -- Israeli President Shimon Peres will discuss business and energy issues in Baku during his visit to Azerbaijan at the end of the month, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan Artur Lenk told RFE/RL on June 5 that his country has good ties with Muslim countries such as Egypt, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, and that Peres's June 28 visit is also symbolic.

Iranian officials have said the visit could impact bilateral ties.

Azerbaijani officials reacted angrily and said Iran should not interfere in Azerbaijani relations.

Lenk told RFE/RL that Peres's visit is not directed against any country, but he added that "Iran has called for Israel's eradication from the world. Another leader wouldn't say such a thing. Iran does not approve of our steps, does not accept our rapprochement with other countries. [But] this issue concerns only us."

Lenk also said that Iranians are not the enemy of Israel.