BAKU (Reuter)–Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–shopping for oil on his way home from the Far East–held talks with Azerbaijan’s President Gaidar Aliyev during a brief stopover on Friday .
Netanyahu told reporters the talks had focused on cooperation in the energy sector–especially future deliveries of Azeri oil to Israel.
"At the present time… the Jewish state is establishing close–friendly relations with this Moslem country," he said through an interpreter.
"This demonstrates a new thinking which it is necessary to encourage," said Netanyahu–the first Israeli prime minister to visit the former Soviet republic.
Aliyev said Azerbaijan wanted to tap Israeli technological expertise.
Netanyahu reiterated his concern about possible sales of nuclear technology to his country’s arch-foe Iran–which shares a long land and sea border with Azerbaijan.
"We shall take concrete steps to prevent any aggravation of the situation (concerning Iran’s purchase of nuclear technology)," Netanyahu said. He gave no further details.
On Thursday he told reporters in Seoul that Israel was worried about the possible flow of nuclear technology between North Korea and Iran.
Despite common Shi’ite Moslem roots–Iran and Azerbaijan have embarked on radically different political paths.
Baku–which is developing its huge oil resources–sometimes accuses Tehran of wanting to overthrow its government and replace it with a conservative Islamic–pro-Iranian regime