Singapore intends to open embassy in Israel: ministry

Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Sunday that his country intends to open its first embassy in Israel, according to Israel's foreign ministry.

Balakrishnan made the announcement in a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, the first meeting between the two ministers, the Israeli ministry said in a statement.

Singapore "intends to open an embassy in Israel for the first time since the establishment of the relations," Balakrishnan told Lapid, according to the ministry statement.

Lapid, who also serves as Israel's alternate prime minister, welcomed the announcement. "This is further evidence of the good and special relations between the two countries," he wrote on Twitter.

Singapore's foreign office said in a separate statement that the new embassy will be located in Tel Aviv and will "serve as a focal point and support Singapore companies seeking to expand their collaboration with potential Israeli partners."

Balakrishnan visited Israel as part of his Middle East trip that also covers Bahrain and Palestine.

Israel and Singapore established full diplomatic ties in 1965. Israel has an embassy in Singapore but Singapore has so far refrained from a reciprocal move.

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