DPM THAPA’S ISRAEL VISITNurturing Relations

With the visit of deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kamal Thapa to Israel, Nepal-Israel bilateral relations have reached into a new phase

June 3, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.9 No 22, June 3,2016 (Jesth 21)

Although Nepal and Israel established their bilateral relations more than half a century ago, Nepal is yet to make efforts to get full benefits of Israel’s technological development.

With the cold war dividing the world, Nepal sided with the non-aligned policy, ignoring Israel’s genuine and legitimate causes and concerns in the global order. Out of hundreds of resolutions tabled in the UN against Israel, Nepal voted in favor of all the resolutions.

Despite much change in the global order following the end of cold war, Nepal’s policy in Middle-East more or less toes the line of cold war era non-aligned foreign policy.

However, Israel has continued to support Nepal by providing help in agriculture and other sectors. During the earthquakes of April and May 2015, Israel was one of the major countries sending a big rescue team with all modern medical facilities for the humanitarian cause of Nepal.

With a huge market available for Nepalese women as caregivers and agriculture students to learn and earn, Nepal has moved closer to Israel. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between foreign secretary Shankar Das Bairagi and Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold on the holding of a diplomatic dialogue is very significant.

Signed before the meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Israeli Prime Minister Office in Jerusalem, the MOU provides a mechanism at the level of high-ranking officials of the two foreign ministries in order to discuss and exchange views on all aspects of bilateral relations and international issues of common concerns.

During the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu inquired about the situation of those who were injured in last year's earthquake as well as the progress in the reconstruction. "Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thapa expressed his deep appreciation for the aid and support from the State of Israel,” said a press release issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“As the country was engaged in vital task of reconstruction and economic development, Nepal needed more financial and infrastructural support from Israel, especially in areas of agriculture, education, research and training and reconstructions projects,” said Nepalese foreign minister Thapa. He also requested the Israeli Prime Minister to take more workers from Nepal.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, fully agreeing that Nepal and Israel enjoyed excellent relations, said that Nepal was in the minds of Israeli people. He expressed the willingness and readiness of the Israeli Government to extend more support to Nepal in areas it needed. Upon the request of the Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu instructed the officials concerned to recommend concrete measures to extend bilateral cooperation in areas of reconstruction and development.

Uri d Yehuda Ariel, Minister of Agriculture of Israel, hosted a luncheon to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Thapa, during which they exchanged views on Nepal-Israel relations and economic cooperation, including the possibility of increasing Israeli support in agricultural sector. Earlier the Deputy Prime Minister visited Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Thapa also addressed  a talk program organized by the Israel Council on Foreign Relations in Jerusalem.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Thapa said that Nepal and Israel enjoyed a long history of cordial relationship with each other which has been growing further ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 1 June 1960, a time when Nepal had just put her feet on the path of expanding diplomatic ties with members of the global community.

The program was attended by Knesset members, intellectuals, academics, friends of Nepal in Israel, members of diplomatic community and other renowned personalities of different fields.

Deputy prime minister Thapa also addressed the economic round table organized by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce. He also held a meeting with Tzipi Livni, Member of Knesset and a former Foreign Minister of Israel and current Chair of Israel-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group.  During the meeting they expressed satisfaction over the existing relations between Nepal and Israel and also stressed the need to have exchange of cooperation between the parliament and parliamentarians of the two countries.

Established 56 years ago, the two sides reviewed the bilateral relations and exchanged views on strengthening and consolidating these relations for the mutual benefit of both the countries.

 

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