‘Israel’ has established diplomatic relations with the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced Saturday.
“I want to thank the Kingdom of Bhutan and praise the decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel,” Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi said in a statement.
He added, “The circle of recognition of Israel is widening.”
“The establishment of relations with the Kingdom of Bhutan will constitute a new stage in the deepening of Israel’s relations in Asia.”
Last weekend, I spoke with my colleague, the @FMBhutan, Tandi Dorji. We agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between us beginning this evening 12/12/20. We also spoke about formulating a joint work plan in the areas of water management, agriculture, health and more. pic.twitter.com/YSbZLdbmRM
— גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) December 12, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the agreement, saying that Israel is “in contact with other countries that want to establish relations with” ‘Israel’.
אני מברך על כינון היחסים בין ישראל לבהוטאן שהם פרי נוסף של הסכמי השלום. אנו נמצאים במגעים עם מדינות נוספות שרוצות להצטרף ולכונן עמנו יחסים.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 12, 2020
The deal comes days after Morocco agreed to normalize ties with ‘Israel’, making it the fourth Arab country to do so.
Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka said that this agreement with Bhutan aims to establish “formal diplomatic relations.”
“This agreement will open up many more opportunities for cooperation for the benefit of both our peoples,” Malka said.
Today 🇮🇱 & 🇧🇹 established formal diplomatic relations. I was honored & excited to be part of this historic moment & to sign the official note. This agreement will open up many more opportunities for cooperation for the benefit of both our peoples 🇧🇹🤝🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/OBD8esreZQ
— Ron Malka 🇮🇱 (@DrRonMalka) December 12, 2020
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Malka said that the ceremony marking official diplomatic relations between Israel and Bhutan was “exciting…modest, but very special.”
He added, “They have been impressed by Israel’s abilities for many years, and their prime minister wanted relations. We advise them on topics that are important to them like water management, agriculture and technology…education and professional training, as well. They’re very interested in the topic of medicine.”