To expand its influence, Israel has established diplomatic relations with various countries, including countries in the Southeast Asia region. However, several ASEAN countries refuse diplomatic relations with the Zionist country. For example, Indonesia and Malaysia defend Palestinian independence.
Apart from that, there are also ASEAN countries that have established diplomatic relations with Israel, working together with Israel to spur growth and development in their countries. Even making Israel a place to buy weapons. Reporting from various sources, here are 5 countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel:
Thailand and Israel have established diplomatic relations since June 23 1954. However, Thailand only established its embassy in 1996, following the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok which already existed in 1958. Meanwhile, the first Thai and Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs dialogue began to be held in Jerusalem in 2002.
Thailand and Israel collaborate in various fields, such as agriculture, water management, startups, technological innovation, education, medicine and culture. This relationship is demonstrated by the Israel International Development Cooperation Agency (MASHAV) which has welcomed thousands of Thai professionals to take part in various training courses, especially in the fields of agricultural technology, water management and education. MASHAV also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with partner organizations, namely the Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA) and the Mekong Institute, regarding development cooperation.
Israel opened its resident embassy in Hanoi in December 1993, while Vietnam operated an embassy in Tel Aviv in 2009. The relationship between Vietnam and Israel is a diplomatic relationship in the form of culture, politics, trade, investment and economics. Quoted from en.vietnamplus.vn, the two countries signed many cooperation agreements, such as the Economic, Scientific, Technical, Agricultural and Trade Cooperation Framework Agreement (1996), Financial Cooperation Protocol (2007), Visa Free Agreement for diplomatic passport holders (2009), agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of avoidance of income tax and land and building tax, as well as the Air Transport Agreement (2020).
In the trade sector, this relationship is called the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement (VIFTA). Where Israel invests in projects focused on processing, manufacturing, information technology and agriculture. Then collaborate in environmentally friendly energy production, renewable energy storage technology, and solar power projects.
The Philippines was the only Asian country to support the creation of the state of Israel in 1947 at the UN. Diplomatic relations between the two began in 1947. This cooperation is established in the economic, technological, military, agricultural and cultural fields.
Full diplomatic relations between the two countries were realized after the signing of the Treaty of Friendship on February 26 1958. The Israeli embassy in Manila and the Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv were opened in 1962.
Quoted from ajc.org, cooperation between the Philippines and Israel is demonstrated by annual bilateral trade which reached USD 175 million dollars as of 2016. Likewise, 23,500 Filipinos traveled to Israel for tourism and work purposes in 2017.
Israel established diplomatic relations with Singapore in 1969. Singapore used Israel to build its armed forces. On the other hand, Israel made Singapore a base for investment in Asian countries.
Like other countries, Israel often visits Singapore. For example, the President of Israel visited Singapore in 1986 and President Reuven Rivlin was present at the funeral of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. Not only that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Singapore, while declaring a “Pivot to Asia.”
During the visit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Israel and Singapore were “old friends”. This friendship ended years of covert interactions between the two countries and made them public.
Summarized from jewishvirtuallibrary.org, Diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Israel began in 1953. This friendship was followed by Israel establishing an embassy in Rangoon, while Myanmar was in Tel Aviv in 1955.
Myanmar and Israel’s friendship was created within the framework of the international labor movement. At that time, Burma or as Myanmar was called, visited Israel on the agenda of the first Asian Socialist Congress in Rangoon in 1953. This meeting was the first step in bilateral relations between the two countries.
Over time, Israel and Myanmar often paid state visits. Then create a special Agreement as a framework cooperation that continues to develop. The Zionist country also sent a large number of professional and agricultural experts to continue projects in Burma. In fact, the Israeli Government and Israeli NGOs provided significant humanitarian assistance to Myanmar during Cyclone Nargis in 2008.