External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar: Determined to take India-Israel relations to new heights


S Jaishankar

The Israeli Embassy in India celebrated the 74th National Day of Israel on May 5, 2022 in Delhi. To mark this milestone, a cultural event was organized to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, Dr. S Jaishankar was the guest of honor at the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. S Jaishankar said, “I am honored to join in the celebrations of the 74th National Day of Israel. It is also a special occasion as we are celebrating 30 years of full diplomatic relations. Despite the geographical distance, I find a natural affinity between our peoples. In recent years, we have focused on a knowledge-based relationship, including cooperation in innovation and research in areas such as security, water, agriculture and technology. This year is also the 75th year of our independence, and these important milestones in our respective countries help us look ahead to the horizons of our expanding relationship.

Echoing similar sentiments, Israeli Ambassador to India HE Naor Gilon said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Honorable Minister Dr. S Jaishankar for honoring us with his presence today. Israel and India are two young states that were created around the same time. However, the relationship between our nations goes back decades, like two old civilizations with close cultural and historical ties. As we celebrate our 74th National Day, I would like to congratulate our elder sister, India, who celebrates her 75th birthday this year. Making this bond even more special is the fact that this year also marks 30 years of our diplomatic relationship.”

He added: “Our bilateral trade exceeded $6 billion in 2021 and Israeli investment in India over the past 20 years amounts to over $300 million. Now our test as diplomats is how to create the momentum for the next 30 years of our relationship.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid joined us via a special video message. “I am happy to join my good friend, Dr S Jaishankar, who honors us with his presence today as we mark 74 years since the birth of the Jewish state,” he said, adding “This year is already a special year in the history of our friendship as we celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries. During these 30 years, we have built a special relationship and are determined to work together to take this relationship to new heights.

The event was marked by the playing of the national anthems of Israel and India, followed by an iconic moment of balloons being launched in the national colors of both countries, symbols of the freedom we collectively celebrate today.

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Shirlene J. Manley