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Israeli, Indian FMs agree to resume free trade talks

JERUSALEM — Foreign ministers of Israel and India agreed in Jerusalem on Monday to resume negotiations on a free trade zone between the two countries.

Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid decided during the meeting to renew the negotiations on a free trade zone deal in November, said Lapid’s office in a statement.

The office said that it wishes to complete the agreement by mid-2022.

The ministers also agreed on mutual recognition of coronavirus vaccination certificates as well as expanding cooperation in the fields of water and agriculture.

“We see India as an important ally for many years,” said Lapid, adding that “India also brings new opportunities for cooperation.”

Jaishankar, who arrived in Israel on Sunday, also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and is planned to observe the Blue Flag international air force exercise, a two-week drill that started in Israel on Sunday.

Jaishankar also met with Israeli businesspersons and called to boost trade ties between the two nations.

The two countries will mark 30 years of officials diplomatic relations next week.

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