Bhutan Becomes Latest Country to Normalize Relations with Israel
( Breitbart )
The Kingdom of Bhutan, a small Himalayan country with a majority Buddhist population, became the latest to establish full diplomatic relations with the State of Israel on Saturday night, just days after the Kingdom of Morocco did so.
The circle of those who recognize Israel is growing. I would like to thank Israel’s ambassador to India for his work and the Kingdom of Bhutan for its decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. This is a milestone in Israel’s deepening ties with Asia. pic.twitter.com/CcM8h1pVs2 — גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) December 12, 2020
The Jerusalem Post reported:
Israel established full diplomatic relations with Bhutan for the first time on Saturday night. Ambassador to India Ron Malka and his Bhutanese counterpart Vetsop Namgyel signed the final agreement normalizing ties on Saturday night. The countries’ foreign ministries held secret talks over the past year towards the goal of forging official ties, which included delegations between the two capitals Jerusalem and Thimphu. The effort to make relations between the two countries was not connected to the Abraham Accords, in which four Arab countries – United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco – normalized ties with Israel in as many months, with American mediation.
The U.S. does not currently have diplomatic relations with Bhutan, which is considered isolated internationally as well as diplomatically.
However, recent tensions on the China-India border may have changed Bhutan’s thinking. (The country is sandwiched between the two.)
The CIA Facebook notes: “[L]acking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan’s west along China’s Chumbi salient.”
Saturday night also marked the third night of Chanukah, a Jewish holiday celebrating survival in difficult circumstances.