KATHMANDU: Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said cooperation between Nepal and Israel in the field of agriculture continues to remain one of the most beneficial collaborative endeavors. Under the ‘Learn and Earn’ program, several Nepali youth agriculture students received regular opportunity to train in Israel.
Foreign Minister Gyawali was speaking at a programme organized by the Centre for Diplomatic Dialogue on the occasion of six decades of Nepal-Israel relations in Kathmandu on Thursday. According to him, the relations today encompass the ever-expanding sectors and areas of cooperation ranging from employment, human resources development, education and agriculture to development cooperation, technology transfer and energy. Minister Gyawali further said several bilateral agreements, some already concluded and some under-consideration, amply demonstrate the deepening relations between Nepal and Israel.
“I recall with pleasure that Nepal was the first country in the South Asia region to formally recognize the State of Israel by establishing diplomatic relations and hosting Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu. This landmark development constituted the bedrock of a relation which has, over the decades, evolved to become stronger, warmer and friendlier – a relationship enjoyed not only at the governmental level but equally by our two peoples,” he said, adding that the democratic system of governance has created a conducive environment for further nurturing our bilateral ties.
Moreover, he said Nepal is encouraged by the unfolding initiatives of recent past to establish sustainable peace in the Arab region. As a peace-loving country, Nepal always welcomes the steps towards peace and do believe that any problem, how complex it may be, can be settled through negotiation, he added. On the occasion, Ambassador of Israel to Nepal, Hanan Goder-Goldberger, reminded that Israel would never forget that Nepal was the first one and for many years, the only one from this part of the world to have such relations. “Nepalese and Israelis as part of small entities, small cultures, surrounded by big neighbors, are proud of what we are and who we are. Israel has no global interests in Nepal and it is the same when we talk about Nepal’s interest in Israel,” he said, sharing the alliance made between Mount Everest (Sagarmatha), and the Dead Sea: the highest and the lowest places on earth which both countries issued stamps on the same day and later established monuments on both sites.
Similarly, former ambassador to the UN, Dr Jayaraj Acharya, said Nepal-Israel relations have been mutually appreciated and fostered by productive cooperation since they were established in 1960 when major powers of Asia had not even recognized Israel as an independent sovereign country. He also reminded that since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Nepal has been benefitting from Israel at the bilateral level in agriculture and construction. Nepal and Israel had established diplomatic relations on June 1, 1960.
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