JERUSALEM: India and Israel on Monday agreed to resume negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) from next month as the two sides are confident to conclude the long pending deal by June next year.“It will be concluded by June of next year,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced after he met Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.Israel has also joined the International Solar Alliance, a global initiative that India has spearheaded, with Jaishankar and Israel’s Energy Minister Karine Elharrar signing on the agreement.In order to ease travel between the two countries amidst the COVID pandemic, India and Israel have also agreed to mutually recognise vaccination certificates.Jaishankar, who arrived here on Sunday on his maiden visit to the country, would also call on President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.He will also be holding talks with leading academics from all over Israel, business community leaders and interacting with the Indian Jewish community.Jaishankar will also be visiting places of historical significance to India, demonstrating its long-term presence in the region and constructive role played in shaping the history of the region.India and Israel elevated bilateral relations to a strategic partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July 2017.Since then, the relationship between the two countries has focused on expanding knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including boosting the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement ahead of his departure. (PTI)
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