It is my honour to be part of this celebration of Nepal-Israel friendship. Thank you, Ambassador Hennan Goder, for organizing this event today to mark the sixty-two years of our diplomatic ties.
We were preparing to celebrate the 60th year of Nepal- Israel diplomatic relations two years ago. However, it was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Back in 1960, Nepal and Israel decided to formalize our diplomatic relations, actingwith extraordinary vision and far-sightedness.
Nepal was among the first countries in Asia, and the first in South Asia, to recognize the State of Israel. We were also the only country in the region for many years to host the residential Embassy of Israel in Kathmandu.
Having emerged from such historical context, our relations have now received over six decades of careful nurturing and hence, do have solid foundation. We have built on our goodwill towards each other and expanded areas of cooperation to make them meaningful.
We have appreciated that ours is the unique connection between the highest point on earth, namely Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) and the lowest point, namely the Dead Sea.
Be it the 2015 earthquakes or more recent Covid-19 pandemic, the government and people of Israel have generously extended their helping hands to Nepal in difficult times for which we remain grateful.
Our relations today encompass the ever-expanding areas of cooperation ranging from employment, human resources development, education to agriculture and energy. Israel is one of the sought-after destinations of foreign employment for Nepali youths.
Cooperation in agriculture continues to be one of the flagship collaborations.The planned operationalization of agriculture centers of excellence in Nepal will be crucial to transfer the state-of-art technology to modernize Nepal’s agriculture sector and provide employment and earning to our youths.
Establishment of Bilateral Consultation Mechanism between our two foreign ministries in 2016 has provided a platform for regular, structuredand forward-looking conversation.
Nepal desires to move further ahead and expand its engagement with Israel in the areas of trade, investment, transfer of technology as well as tourism and people-to-people linkage. There exist tremendous potentials in all these sectors.
We are happy to see the great strides Israel has made in the front of scientific invention and technological edge. We wish Israel and its friendly people continued success and prosperity in the days to come.
Nepal has consistently supported Israel’s right to live in peace within secure and defined international boundaries. We have also been supportive of the initiatives taken over the yearsin the direction of sustainable peace in the Middle East. As a peace-loving nation, Nepal always welcomes every step towards peace through dialogue and diplomacy.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the government and people of Israel as they celebrated,just a few days ago on 4-5 May 2022, their Independence Day according to the Hebrew calendar.
Bharat Raj Paudyal is the Foreign Secretary of Nepal. Excerpts of the statement delivered on the occasion of 62nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Israel on May 10, 2022.