Staff Reporter 

Bhutan and the State of Israel established formal diplomatic relations with effect from December 12.

The Notes Verbale on the establishment of diplomatic relations were exchanged between Ambassador of Bhutan to India,  Major General Vetsop Namgyel and Ambassador of Israel to India Dr Ron Malka on December 12, at the Embassy of the State of Israel in New Delhi.

“The establishment of diplomatic relations would not only build upon the existing close ties but open the path to greater cooperation and further strengthen relations between the two countries and peoples,” a joint press release stated.

During the Exchange of Notes Verbale ceremony, the two Ambassadors recognised the growing engagements between Bhutan and Israel and welcomed the establishment of diplomatic relations.

They reiterated the shared desire of the two countries to further strengthen bilateral cooperation to the benefit of both peoples.

“In addition to deepening cooperation in areas including economic, technological and agriculture development, the two Ambassadors highlighted that the ties between the peoples through cultural exchanges and tourism would also be further enhanced,” the press release stated.

Following the ceremony, foreign ministers of the two countries sent mutual congratulations.

“Israel and Bhutan have enjoyed cordial relations marked by friendship and cooperation, even in the absence of diplomatic relations,” the release stated. “Israel has supported Bhutan’s human resource development since 1982, especially in the area of agriculture development that has benefitted hundreds of Bhutanese youths.”

The establishment of diplomatic relations would create new avenues for cooperation between the two countries in water management, technology, human resource development, agricultural sciences and other areas of mutual benefit, according to the joint statement.