It’s time to set new bilateral goals for India-Israel ties: PM Modi

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India and Israel are celebrating 30 years of full diplomatic relationship this year.

India had announced its recognition of Israel on September 17, 1950. Soon thereafter, the Jewish Agency established an immigration office in then Bombay. This was later converted into a Trade Office and subsequently a Consulate. Regular Embassies were opened in 1992 when full diplomatic relations were established between the two countries.

“It is time to set new bilateral goals for India and Israel, as we are celebrating 30 years of full diplomatic relationship. Thirty years back on the same day, India and Israel started a new journey of bilateral relationship officially, though relations between the two nations are age-old. The Jew community has always been an integral part of Indian society and has been partner in the voyage of development over the centuries.

“As there are swift changes happening in the present global diplomatic environment, it’s the best time to set new goals of bilateral cooperation as India is celebrating 75 years of Independence and Israel will do the same next year,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his special message on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of India-Israel bilateral relationships.

On June 14, 2021, Modi had congratulated Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on assuming office. Modi also undertook a historic first-ever visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister in July 2017 during which the relationship between the two nations was upgraded to strategic partnership.

The then Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, made a return visit to India in January 2018. Joint statements were issued during both visits. Then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, also paid a state visit to Israel in October 2015.

The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, paid a state visit to India in November 2016. Earlier, Israel President Ezer Weizman had visited India in December 1996. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon also visited India in September 2003, during which the Delhi Statement on Friendship and Cooperation between India and Israel was signed.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid have jointly written an op-ed on the 30th anniversary of India-Israel diplomatic relations.

Previously, former External Affairs Ministers Jaswant Singh (2000), S.M. Krishna (2012), and Sushma Swaraj (2016) paid visits to Israel.

“Four thousand km separate India and Israel. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries. From agriculture and water management to innovation and security, the two countries share knowledge, projects and, most importantly, a vision for the future. In recent months, along with the UAE and the US, we have partnered in a unique diplomatic dialogue,” Jaishankar and Yair Lapid said in the in jointly written op-ed.

“If there is one significant point of similarity between Indian and Israeli cultures, it is that both are rooted in deep histories. Among others, Ramayana and Mahabharata, and Tanakh and Talmud, are grand, dramatic epics that tell the story of people as well as moral stories which define the norms and the laws of life,” read the op-ed.

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