India's ties with US, Israel prospering because of belief in common values: Sarna

India
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India\'s ties with the America and Israel are prospering because there is a commonality in the belief of human values and a desire for peace around the world, Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna has said.

WASHINGTON: India's ties with the America and Israel are prospering because there is a commonality in the belief of human values and a desire for peace around the world, Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna has said.

Indian Jewish diaspora is an important part of the Indian-American diaspora, Sarna said on the occasion of Hanukkah celebrations at the Indian embassy here."Both (India-US and India-Israel) relationships, which in many ways draw strength from the other are today prospering like they have never done before," Sarna said.

"They (the two relationships) are prospering because there is a commonality in the belief of human values, in democracy in the rule of law and in the desire for peace around the world," said the Indian Ambassador at the celebrations attended by members of the Indian American Jewish community, members of the diplomatic corps and eminent Jews.

"I think that the Indian Jewish diaspora in the United States is an important part of the overall Indian diaspora, which is going to be three million strong," he said, adding that Jewishness has been playing an important role in American industry or American politics or American media.

At the same time, there is the Indian Jewish diaspora in Israel which is about 80,000-strong."It is this people-to-people underpinning which is a very very crucial aspect of India-US relations and India-Israel relations," Sarna said.

"This year we have a lot to celebrate. We have to celebrate the 25 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and India. We have to celebrate a very successful visit of the prime minister of India to the United States and the first ever visit by the prime minister of India to Israel.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India next month.
Addressing the gathering, Congressman Brad Schneider, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the bond of the communities in the three nations is really extraordinary.The Deputy Israeli Ambassador to the US Reuven Azar also spoke on the occasion.

"We never had any record of anti-Semitism in India. This is another sign, another reason why there is admiration in Israel for the Indian people in general and for this relationship in particular," he said.

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