The discussions included a review of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues as ways to further enhance bilateral relations in diversified fields.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

On August 28, 2005, Israel and India held the 9th round of foreign ministry consultations in Jerusalem within the framework of the agreed minutes between the ministries signed in New Delhi on May 17, 1993. The Indian delegation was headed by Secretary East, Mr. Rajiv Sikri, and the Israeli delegation was headed by the Deputy Director General for Asia and Pacific, Mr. Amos Nadai. On behalf of the Israeli side, Mr. Ron Prosor, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened the session by welcoming the Indian guests and briefing them on bilateral and regional issues.

The two sides had a wide-ranging and constructive exchange of views in a friendly atmosphere. The discussions included a review of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues as ways to further enhance bilateral relations in diversified fields such as economy and commerce, culture, science and technology, and people to people contacts.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Silvan Shalom updated the Indian delegation on the latest developments in the Middle East, with emphasis on the relations between Israel and the Palestinians in light of the Israel’s implementation of its Disengagement Plan.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and India in January 1992, relations between the two countries have been enhanced in a wide variety of spheres (trade, agriculture, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges). The volume of trade between the two countries in the first half of 2005 reached 1.318 billion US dollars, an increase of 23% in comparison to the first half of 2004.