India, Israel To Resume Negotiations On FTA From Next Month

| Updated: 18 October, 2021 10:36 pm IST
Extenal Affairs Minister S Jaishankar along with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. (PIC/Twitter)

JERUSALEM (ISRAEL): India and Israel agreed to resume negotiations and talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) from November this year, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday.

“Our officials have actually agreed on the resumption of the India-Israel free trade negotiations starting in November. They are very confident that we would be able to conclude the negotiations by next June,” Jaishankar announced after meeting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

“Very productive talks today with APM and FM @YairLapid. Discussed a wide range of regional and global issues. Agreed to resume FTA negotiations next month. Agreed in principle on mutual recognition of Covid vaccination certification, Jaishankar later posted on Twitter.

Lapid also stressed that the FTA will be “finalised as fast as we can” in the interest of both the countries and business communities.

“We see India as an important ally for many years,” Lapid stated.

The two countries are hoping the agreement will be ready for signature by the middle of 2022.

“I finished a meeting with Indian Minister of External Affairs @DrSJaishankar & Minister of Energy @KElharrar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We decided to renew negotiations on a free trade agreement between our nations, and on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates,” Lapid tweeted.

He thanked his “friend” Jaishankar for his visit to Israel, a visit preceding events which will take place next year to mark 30 years of bilateral relations between the two countries.

The ministers also agreed on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates as well as to expand cooperation in the areas of water and agriculture, which in recent years have become a vital aspect of the relations between the two countries.

Israel has also joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA), a global led by India, with Jaishankar and Israel’s Energy Minister Karine Elharrar signing on the agreement.

“First of all let me say what a great pleasure it is to see Israel joining the international solar alliance. I think you bring a lot of value to the table and as we approach COP 26.  It is very important in our growing agenda and green road, green economy,” Jaishankar said.

“We believe that only a global action will succeed in addressing the climate crisis and securing the future of our children and our loved ones,” Elharrar said after signing the MoU.

“Joining the ISA, along with over 80 countries that are blessed with sunlight and are advancing solar energy, will allow Israel to contribute and gain from the global battle against climate change and promote solutions together for a greener future, Elharrar said.

Lapid said that the accession of Israel to the ISA will allow Tel Aviv to contribute its knowledge and experience to the organisation.

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