India, Israel enjoy wonderful government-to-government ties: Israeli envoy
Israel's Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon who completes a year in office said that the two countries share wonderful government-to-government relations.
Speaking to ANI on marking one year as his country's envoy to India, Gilon said, "It was a very intensive year. I fell in love with India from the first moment I landed here. Never saw such wide popular support. There are wonderful government-to-government relations. It's a great experience."
"It was my first time ever to India. The popular appreciation, love and friendship towards Israel from India - diplomats and ambassadors never thought (will get such ) wide support - all in all, its a great experience," he added.
Sharing his achievements and experience of living in India, Gilon said that he has overworked his staff to increase the bonhomie between the two nations, which recently celebrated 30 years of official diplomatic ties.
"We have done so much in one year and am thinking that I have overworked my staff a little bit. We did here a lot of things around the 30 years of relations, starting with even lighting buildings, monuments in both countries and having special programmes - TV programmes about the relations," said the Israeli envoy to ANI.
He also listed many projects conducted by the Israeli Embassy in the last one year.
"We did public diplomacy, women empowerment - we brought here women doctors for the underprivileged neighbourhood for treatment and awareness, we did programmes in IIT for women entrepreneurs, a fashion show with the local designers, and the models were diplomats, my wife and some of the girls who were beneficiaries of this assistance - we have murals in Connaught Place to remind us of three very special actresses - first women Bollywood actresses who were Baghdadi Jews from Mumbai. We are very proud of vast activities," said Gilon.
In April this year, the Israeli Embassy had unveiled a street-art mural in New Delhi to mark 30 years of India-Israel friendship and to highlight the contributions of Indian-Jewish actors Nadira (Florence Ezekiel), Sulochana (Ruby Myers) and Pramila (Esther Victoria Abraham) who made a mark in the early years of Indian cinema.
Talking about agricultural cooperation between the two countries, Gilon said, "Also on the agricultural side, we are going to open soon the 30th Centre of Excellence in Agriculture and in the pipeline we have 12-13 more. We are doing a lot in the field of water, really the embassy is working. I have a good feeling when I look back at the first year."
The programme aims to grow existing Centres of Excellence (CoE), establish new centres, increase CoE's value chain, bring the Centres of Excellence into the self-sufficient mode, and encourage private sector companies and collaboration.
Though India officially recognised Israel in 1950, the two countries established full diplomatic ties only on 29th January 1992. As of December 2020, India was among 164 United Nations (UN) member states to have diplomatic ties with Israel.