‘My friend’: Israeli foreign affairs minister Lapid thanks Jaishankar for visit

Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid agreed on mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates during a meeting on Monday.
Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar (C) alongside current Yad Vashem Ccairman Dani Dayan (R) attend a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance in Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum, on October 18, 2021. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP)(AFP)
Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar (C) alongside current Yad Vashem Ccairman Dani Dayan (R) attend a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance in Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum, on October 18, 2021. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP)(AFP)
Published on Oct 18, 2021 09:45 PM IST
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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The meeting between Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid ended on Monday with both parties agreeing to renew negotiations on a free trade area agreement from November. The top ministers said that the aim is to make the agreement ready for signing by mid-2022, according to an official statement.

Earlier in the day, both the ministers agreed on mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates amid calls to ease foreign travel. Notably, Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to Israel with the objective to strengthen India’s ties with the country.

Jaishankar and Lapid also agreed on expanding cooperation in the “areas of water and agriculture, which, in recent years, have become a central anchor of the relations between the two countries,” the official statement noted.

Following the meeting, the Union external affairs minister took to Twitter to hail the talks as “very productive.” Meanwhile, Lapid also thanked his “friend Jaishankar”, for visiting Israel – which marked a “precursor of events” to take place in 2022 on the occasion of 30 years of bilateral relations between Israel and India.

“We are continuing with our policy of connections, and we have seen in India a very important ally for many years. India also brings with her new opportunities for cooperation,” Lapid said as per the statement.

The Israeli foreign affairs minister also hailed New Delhi and Tel Aviv “helping one another” during the Covid-19 crisis last year, saying that it is how “friends and partners behave.”

The meeting was followed by a signing ceremony, marking Israel’s accession to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), founded in 2015 on the initiative of India and France. Israeli minister of energy Karine Elharrar signed the agreement on behalf of Lapid.

“Membership in the ISA, alongside more than 80 countries blessed with sun and promoting solar energy, will enable the State of Israel to contribute to the global struggle against climate change and to advance together solutions for a greener future,” she said.

Jaishankar on Sunday hailed the enormous impact of the Indian-Jewish community in Israel during his interaction with them, even calling them “an umbilical cord” that has nurtured the relations between India and Israel.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022