New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Marking 20 years of bilateral ties, India and Israel Monday jointly released postage stamps that celebrate the two festival of lights − Diwali and the Jewish festival Hanukkah − commemorating the triumph of good over evil and justice over injustice.
Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal released the stamps here in the presence of Israeli Ambassador to India Alon Ushpiz, Israeli Postal Company Chairman Sasi Shilo and India Posts secretary (Posts) Manjula Prasher.
Speaking on the occasion, Sibal said Israel was India's sixth largest trade partner with over $5 billion annual trade, with key partnership in the field of defence, education, science and technology, space and agriculture.
He noted that since the diplomatic relations between the two nations began in 1992, there has been a significant cooperation on many fronts, particularly in innovation in industrial research and development such as nano−technology, bio−technology and non−conventional energy.
Israel also contributed about 40,000 tourists to India annually, he said, adding that the stamps were symbols of the cultural diversity of the respective nations.
The stamps jointly released by India and Israel, also released in Tel Aviv on Nov 5, were means to spread awareness on the cultures of the two nations, in particular their festivals of lights.
Ushpiz, in his address, said though stamps were "old−fashioned form of communication", these were still "irreplaceable" and were culturally part of daily life in every nation.