Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Singapore to open first embassy in Israel

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan says the city-state will also open a 'representative office' in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to boost relations with the Palestinian Authority.

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Singapore will open its first embassy in Israel, nearly six decades after establishing ties with the Jewish state, Israel’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

The announcement came after Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said the city-state would also open a “representative office” in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to boost relations with the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who met Balakrishnan on Monday, said Singapore’s decision to open an embassy highlighted “the good and special relations between our two countries”, which were established in 1965.

Balakrishnan had also met several Palestinian officials in Ramallah, including prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.

He tweeted that the West Bank office would aim to “coordinate our technical assistance & facilitate engagement” with the PA.

Several states have in recent years stepped up their diplomatic engagement with Israel, which remains a controversial partner for some governments due to the decades-long conflict with the Palestinians.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have recently opened embassies in Tel Aviv, moves that angered the Palestinians who urge all Arab and Muslim nations to avoid ties with Israel.

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