NEW DELHI: India and Israel agreed in principle to recognise each other’s vaccine certifications and restart talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) from November. These were the key outcomes after foreign minister S Jaishankar held talks with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid in Jerusalem on Monday. Israel also signed up as the latest member of the International Solar Alliance. Jaishankar tweeted, “Very productive talks today with APM and FM @YairLapid. Discussed a wide range of regional and global issues. Agreed to resume FTA negotiations next month. Agreed in principle on mutual recognition of Covid vaccination certification.” A readout from the Israel ministry of foreign affairs said the FTA negotiations would be completed by 2022. Jaishankar was more explicit. In his post-meeting remarks, he said, “Starting the negotiating process, talks will start in November and they are very confident that they would be able to conclude the negotiations by next June. So it’s something that we very much look forward to.” India and Israel will host a joint “Women and STEM mini conference on November 24, where women scientists from both sides participate.” Jaishankar held a meeting with the business groups and CEOs where he said, India regards Israel “in many ways as perhaps our most trusted and innovative partner.” “The degree of trust between us is very high,” Jaishankar said. Welcoming Israeli business into India after the latest round of reforms, Jaishankar even lauded the farm laws (which have become controversial in India due to sustained protests by some farmers), saying they make agriculture much more sustainable which actually creates the basis for greater businesses in agriculture and greater employment in agriculture. “We certainly think those changes would encourage much more investment into agriculture and food production.” “India is a very welcoming place for business. Not just business, we would like to see more partnerships. And both of our societies recognise that our strength lies in the quality of our people,” Jaishankar added.