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Israel seeking closer ties with SVG, region

Israel seeking closer ties with SVG, region

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Israel is seeking to establish stronger bilateral ties with St.Vincent and the Grenadines and other countries of the region, says Israel’s Ambassador to St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Amiram Magid.{{more}}

Ambassador Magid left the state on Sunday, June 20, 2010, less than two hours after conducting an interview with SEARCHLIGHT.

During the visit which ran from Thursday, June 17 to Sunday, June 20, he met with Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves and other government officials. His visit came following a visit to St Kitts where he presented his credentials.

In an interview held at the Beachcombers Hotel, Magid told SEARCHLIGHT from time to time he will travel to St.Vincent and the Grenadines and exchange views with Sir Louis Straker, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on international and regional issues.

Magid disclosed that Israel would like to cooperate with countries in the region through its Agency for International Aid and Cooperation.

“I am trying to see if we can find a way on how to cooperate in agriculture. This is just the beginning. Our experts in the Ministry of Agriculture will be connected to your experts in the Ministry of Agriculture in order to try to bring some experts. I don’t know when, but what we call short consultancies, couple of days, to go through all your needs and to see what’s on the ground,” said Magid.

He said while Israel can lend their expertise to St.Vincent and the Grenadines, it is unable to promise monetary aid at this time.

Magid said Israel will be able to assist St.Vincent and the Grenadines with its diversification programme.

The Ambassador stated the Israelis have expertise in dairy cows and products, vegetables, bananas, papayas, mangoes, and irrigation that can be shared with St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Probably any field in agriculture, we have some added value. We are able to come out with some ideas, suggestions,” said Magid.

This is Magid’s second visit to St.Vincent and the Grenadines since he was appointed to the post in October 2009. He took his first trip here in February 2010, when he presented his credentials to the government. He also presented credentials in Guyana and in St.Lucia.

Magid disclosed that during the past 20 years, Israel operated out of one embassy in the Dominican Republic, where it tried to cover most of the islands in the region.

Through its former office in Venezuela, efforts were made to cover the CARICOM states of Suriname, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

However, the relationship with Venezuela was broken just over a year ago.

As a result of that, Israel decided to establish a roving ambassador to the region.

Meanwhile, Magid used the opportunity to respond to the loss of lives on May 31, 2010, during a raid carried out by Israeli naval commandos on a convoy carrying aid to Gaza.

He apologised for the loss of lives but explained that Israel’s blockade is to avoid the smuggling of arms through the Gaza strip region.

“What we have said about the Flotilla: we are not against the protest, you can protest, do whatever you want,” said Magid, noting that because of a belligerent situation between Israel and the Hamas, his country has to carry out inspections on vessels passing through the region.(HN)

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