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May 2, 2023 7:45 am

Israeli FM to Visit India to Mark 30 Years of Relations

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh. Photo: Virender Singh – Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen will visit India later this month as the countries celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations.

Cohen’s trip follows recent visits by Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat and Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana.

Barkat led a delegation of Israeli business leaders during a four-day visit in April that strengthened bilateral trade and cooperation, particularly in the areas of automotive technology and fintech.

Ohana paid a visit in March that was highlighted by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Israeli and Indian parliaments.

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In an event in India celebrating the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding last week, Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon hailed the ties that the two countries share and said he looked forward to hosting Cohen.

“These days we are fortunate to have a series of high-level visits from Israel to India. In late March, we had the visit of the speaker of the Israel parliament, the Knesset. In mid -April, we had the first-ever visit of the minister of economy and we are expecting to soon host the minister of foreign affairs and later in the year, hopefully also our prime minister,” said Gilon.

“What is common to these visits is that they return impressed by the strong sympathy and friendship between India and Israel, as well as the understanding of the growing importance of India to Israel and to the world,” the ambassador added.

Speaking about India-Israel ties, Gilon stressed that continuing cooperation between the countries is built on deep trust that is evidenced by cooperation in the most sensitive fields.

“I’ve never experienced before such deep appreciation, affection and friendship towards Israel as I do wherever I go in India. A similar sentiment towards India exists in the hearts of many Israelis. The cooperation between India and Israel is based on deep trust. This is evident by the wide fields of cooperation including in the most sensitive ones,” he said.

The ambassador also told the ANI news agency that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit India by the end of 2023.

“India and Israel have wonderful ties in all fields; it is based on the people-to-people element. Our relationship now also has the government-to-government element,” said Gilon. “If we take one example of wonderful cooperation that we have, look at our commercial relations…. This is a symbol of how we could have developed it so fast, so high.”

India gained independence from the British in August 1947 and Israel in May 1948.

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