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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar on Wednesday discussed the strengthening of India’s relationship with the US and Israel in a meeting with the delegation of the American Jewish Committee and the Indian diaspora.

“Glad to meet a delegation of the American Jewish Committee and the Indian Diaspora in South Block today morning. Discussed strengthening India’s relationship with the US and Israel. Appreciated their suggestions on promoting community-based activities,” tweeted Jaishankar.

American Jewish Committee (AJC) is the leading global Jewish advocacy organization. From city halls to Capitol Hill, at the UN and in world capitals, AJC works to impact policy and opinion on some of the most important issues facing the Jewish people.

The Indian Diaspora has evolved over three phases firstly Indian people were taken by colonial powers to work as plantation workers (like in Sri Lanka, Caribbean islands, Fiji, etc.), secondly, in search of better economic opportunities, many Indians went to countries like the US and many European countries and thirdly to gulf countries as skilled and semi-skilled labourers.

Today, the Indian diaspora is both agent and the instrument of India’s soft power and in developed countries, it acts as an effective player in impacting the dynamics of these countries.

The diaspora’s ability to spread Indian soft power, lobby for India’s national interests, and contribute economically to India’s rise is now well-recognized.

30 years ago, full diplomatic relations were established between India and Israel. Since then, India and Israel have successfully steered the relationship forward.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India decided to take full ownership of the relationship with Israel. In February 2018, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. His itinerary did not include Ramallah (Palestine). The signal was that India had “de-hyphenated” the Israel-Palestine relationship, and would deal with each separately.

India and Israel have a Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism and the two countries also share real-time intelligence to deal with the menace.

The Jewish diaspora in India remains unique because like other communities, it coexisted peacefully in India for hundreds of years but maintained its Jewish identity despite long isolation from other Jewish communities.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar also extended his greetings to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Cambodia, Prak Sokhonn on the occasion of its Independence Day.

“Warm wishes to my colleague DPM & FM Prak Sokhonn and the Government and people of Cambodia on their Independence Day. Our shared civilizational heritage continues to guide our modern-day partnership,” tweeted Jaishankar.

Notably, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar will be visiting Cambodia from November 11-13 to participate in the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the 17th East Asia Summit.

He will attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh on November 12, 2022. This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year, read the Ministry of External Affairs press release.

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