Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka (r) and Bhutanese counterpart Vetsop Namgyel at signing ceremony in New Delhi, Dec. 12, 2020. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan)
Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka

“The circle of those who recognize Israel is growing,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

By JNS

Israel and the Kingdom of Bhutan established full diplomatic relations on Saturday, in the latest of a series of normalization deals to be signed by the Jewish state.

“The circle of those who recognize Israel is growing. I would like to thank Israel’s ambassador to India for his work and the Kingdom of Bhutan for its decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel,” tweeted Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

“This is a milestone in Israel’s deepening ties with Asia,” he said, adding that students from Bhutan are receiving agricultural training in Israel.

Ashkenazi said the agreement came after secret contacts and reciprocal with Bhutan in recent years, in a process led by the foreign ministry.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement, calling it “additional fruit of the peace agreements” concluded by Israel in September with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, according to a statement from his office. “We are in contact with additional countries that want to join and establish relations with us,” he added.

The signing ceremony took place in New Delhi, India, at the Israeli embassy, with the Israeli and Bhutanese ambassadors to India.

A joint press release posted on the Bhutanese Foreign Ministry’s website said: “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.”

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that Morocco had agreed to normalize relations with Israel, following in the footsteps of the UAE and Bahrain.

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