Singapore Announces Historic Establishment of First Embassy in Israel

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Photo by Miri Miri Shimonovich/FMO on 21 March, 2022
By Gil Tanenbaum/TPS • 21 March, 2022

Jerusalem, 21 March, 2022 (TPS) — On Monday a meeting was held between the Foreign Minister of Israel Yair Lapid and his Singaporean counterpart, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan. The Singaporean Foreign Minister informed Minister Lapid that Singapore intends to open an embassy in Israel for the first time since the establishment of relations between the two nations in 1965.

Israel, however, has had an embassy in Singapore for decades.

Yair Lapid said of the announcement, “I welcome the Government of Singapore’s decision to open an embassy in Israel for the first time since our diplomatic relations were established. This is further evidence of the good and special relations between our two countries.”

Also on Monday, Israel’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Farkash HaCohen, signed a cooperation agreement with Vivian Balakrishnan in Jerusalem, for the two nations to collaborate on Artificial Intelligence (AI), a move that will benefit the development and deployment of AI in both countries. Singapore is considered a leading country in the field of high-tech and AI.

For his part, however, Minister Balakrishnan seems to be more interested in promoting his visit to Ramallah where he met with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) On Sunday he met with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki and Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila.

“We will establish a representative office in Ramallah,” said Minister Balakrishnan on Twitter, “to support the work of our Non-Resident Representative Hawazi Daipi, coordinate our technical assistance & facilitate engagement w the PA. Our technical assistance programs have benefitted over 600 Palestinian officials.”

The Minister added that he presented a donation of masks to Minister Al-Kaila. The masks are part of Singapore’s special healthcare assistance package to the PA.

“Hope these will help PA manage the pandemic,” he said.

Dr. Balakrishnan was also scheduled to visit Yad Vashem on Monday.

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