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Bond of friendship

The potential of deepening Indo-Israel bilateral relations is vast, considering our respective young and talented societies, common values and knowledge-based economies, writes David Danieli.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2007 02:48 IST

On January 29, 1992, Israel established diplomatic relations with India. This week marks the 15th anniversary of this historic milestone in Israel’s journey to build close associations with the peoples of Asia — a vision of the founders of the State of Israel. Israel attaches great importance to its relationship with India and is pursuing them with a view to cementing long-term cooperation in every sphere.

Over the past 15 years, a great deal has been achieved through dialogue and common action. As democratic countries since their inception, both nations share the values of freedom and democracy. Both countries gained their independence during the same period and embarked on a course of nation-building to advance the well-being of their respective citizens and to build modern democratic States.

The potential of deepening Indo-Israel bilateral relations is vast, considering our respective young and talented societies, common values and knowledge-based economies. Growing business activities, technological exchanges, cultural and artistic interactions, tourism and people-to-people contacts, all assure us continued growth of our relationship.

Israelis visit India in large numbers to experience its culture, history, spirituality and diversity and to enjoy its landscape. Their interest is also reflected in the large number of students of Indian studies in Israel. In part, it comes against the backdrop of the rich history of Indian Jews, who have lived in India for 2,000 years as an integral part of India’s ethnic and religious mosaic. The nearly 70,000-strong Indian-origin Jewish community in Israel is contributing greatly to the society and State of Israel.

India is one of Israel’s important trading partners, with two-way civilian trade crossing the $ 2.7 billion mark for 2006, with strong growing performance of the hi-tech sector. We, in Israel, are confident that in the coming years, this will be accompanied by further technological cooperation integrating the relative advantages of both sides into mutual business and investment. The rapid growth of the Indian economy, the focus on developmental projects, infrastructure and knowledge-based industries and India’s emergence as an R&D hub, all bring considerable potential for further cooperation. Our collaboration in science and technology focuses on joint research projects and exchange of researchers. Agriculture, bio-technology, information technologies and telecom are among the fields of joint research.

The government and the people of Israel cherish their relations with India and are committed to nurture them.

David Danieli is Ambassador of Israel to India