Israeli Counsul General Visits Bismarck - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Israeli Counsul General Visits Bismarck

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The Consul General of Israel to the Midwest hopes to strengthen connections between the United States and Israeli governments. The honorable Roey Gilad assumed his position as the Consul General about a year ago and he says this was his first visit to North Dakota.

There's not a high jewish population in North Dakota and even fewer can speak Hebrew.  But Roey Gilad, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, says that hasn't created any challenges for him as he works to bring the two governments to a better partnership.

"Indeed it is easier when you have a significant strong jewish community like we have in Chicago, Detroit, or Minneapolis. But the fact that the state doesn't have a significant jewish community I don't see it as a problem. Again business people can be as strong a bridge as what I'm looking for," says Gilad.

He's spent the past few days touring parts of the state and says there are several things that Israel and North Dakota have in common.

"Energy, agriculture, I visited a drone site in Grand Forks and those three things maybe some other things, might be, I think the center of a future cooperation between the state of North Dakota and the state of Israel," says Gilad.

He discussed those similarities with Governor Jack Dalrymple and Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley, to find ways they can work together.

"We talked about agriculture and of course the possibility for us to export specialty foods to Israel and we also talked about educational exchanges, they have a great university system in Israel," says Dalrymple.

Which he says could provide foreign exchange and internship opportunities for students. The governor says his office will be doing research on all these possibilities and if it all works out there could be a trade mission to Israel within a year.

The Consul General was not able to visit the Bakken but he says he plans to come back at a later date.

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