Bilateral political relations
Belarusian-Israeli relations are traditionally characterized by a high level of mutual interest and trust while the bilateral dialogue is built on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Israel is one of the most priority and promising partners of Belarus in the Middle East region.
Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the State of Israel were established on May 26, 1992.
The Embassy of Belarus in Israel (Tel Aviv) was opened in August 1992.
The Israeli Embassy in Belarus (Minsk) has been operating since October 1993 (after being closed in August 2003 it resumed its work in the spring of 2004).
May 26, 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the State of Israel. On the occasion of the anniversary the presidents of both states exchanged congratulatory messages. As part of the celebration a number of events were held in Israel, including the thematic exposition of the BelTA agency “Belarus and Israel: 25 Years of Friendship and Partnership” and the concert “We are from Belarus”.
In 1992 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus paid a visit to Israel. In 1993 the Prime Minister of Israel I.Shamir visited Belarus, while in 1998 Belarus was visited by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sh.Peres (in 2007 — 2014 President of Israel).
In January 2000, within the framework of the Bethlehem-2000 celebrations, the State of Israel was visited by the President of the Republic of Belarus A.Lukashenko.
Over approximately the past ten years Belarus has been visited by the Deputy Prime Minister-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Agriculture, Aliyah and Absorption, members of the Israeli Parliament.
During the same period Israel was visited by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus (2011) and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus (2000, 2012, 2014, 2018), the leadership of the ministries of sports and tourism, agriculture, architecture and construction, finance, assistant to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Head of Belarus President Property Management Directorate.
Dialogue along the inter-parliamentary line is developing successfully. Friendship groups operate on a permanent basis in the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus and the Knesset of the State of Israel. Contacts and visits of the deputies are almost annual. Among the latter it is worth noting the meeting in Minsk of the deputy of the Knesset of Israel D.Bitan with the head of the working group of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus on cooperation with the Parliament of Israel A.Popkov (October 2019), who, in turn, had previously visited Israel at the head of the Belarusian parliamentary delegation (February 2018). In January 2020, the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Mr. V.P. Andreichenko paid a visit to Israel, during which he met with the Speaker of the Knesset (that time — Julius Edelstein).
On a regular basis, usually at the level of deputy ministers, the consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries are held. The last round of consultations took place in Jerusalem in May 2018.The Belarusian side was headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs A.V. Dapkiunas, the Israeli one — by the Director of the Eurasia Bureau of the Israeli Foreign Ministry A. Ben-Zvi. Last inter-ministerial consultations on consular issues were held in November 2020.
There is a Joint Belarusian-Israeli Committee for Trade and Economic Cooperation, which is an intergovernmental body that coordinates the development of bilateral economic cooperation. Its last (6th) meeting was held in May 2018 in Jerusalem.
Signing in September 2014 and entry into force in November 2015 of an intergovernmental agreement on the abolition of visas for holders of national passports was a significant event and an important evidence of the openness and level of trust between the two countries. The conclusion of the agreement has contributed to a manifold increase in mutual visits.
There is also cooperation on interregional level developing: twin cities relations have been established between the cities of Brest and Ashdod (2012), Vitebsk and Rishon-le-Zion (2008), Grodno and Ashkelon (2011), Glubokoe and Kiryat-Bialik (2011).
The legal framework of bilateral relations is made up of intergovernmental agreements on the establishment of diplomatic relations, on trade and economic cooperation, on the promotion and mutual protection of investments, on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion in relation to taxes on income and capital, on cooperation in the field agriculture and processing industry, cooperation in the field of air transport, cooperation in the fight against crime, cooperation in education, science and culture, mutual establishment and activities of cultural centers, cooperation in tourism, cooperation in the field of standardization, metrology and conformity assessment, on cooperation in the field of health and medicine, on the abolition of visas for holders of national passports, as well as a program of cultural, educational and scientific cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the State of Israel.