New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Writers from India and Israel highlighted the strength of their cultural and literary ties at a meeting here to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The authors interacted at the Sahitya Akademi’s annual event “Festival of Letters” yesterday.

Award-winning author Dorit Silverman, among the six delegates from the Hebrew Writers Association (HWA) who attended the session, quoted HWA chairman Tsvika Nir as stressing that literary ties between the authors would continue.

“The ties that we (HWA) created with each of the writers from India and the Sahitya Akademi are of great importance to us and these ties will continue,” she quoted him as saying.

Apart from Silverman, the session was attended by Meir Ouziel, Smadar Shir, Hava Pinhas-Cohen, Adiva Geffen and Avivit Levy Kapach from Israel.

K Sreenivasarao, secretary, Sahitya Akademi, said the countries shared an “ancient and rich literary heritage” and the 25th anniversary of the setting up of diplomatic relations provided it with an opportunity to bring together the “best minds from literary, cultural and linguistic traditions” of the two countries.

“The two countries have an ancient and rich literary heritage and are trying to revive their dying languages…The loss of any language is not mainly a loss of a tool of communication, but of an entire cultural heritage,” he said.

With the help of the embassy of India in Israel, a delegation of Indian writers visited the West Asian country in November last year. The meeting was a reciprocation of that, he said.

Silverman, in her lecture titled the “Healing Power of Writing”, spoke about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

She noted the only solution that seemed possible to the conflict was a way for the people “to cooperate and live together”.

“I don’t have the ultimate answer to the big question in our lives in Israel — how to make peace with our neighbours.

But I have one certain conclusion that we (Israel and Palestine) could never really be separated,” she said.

The meeting, which was attended by a host of Indian writers, was organised by the cultural body, with help from the embassy of India in Israel, embassy of Israel in India, the Union culture ministry and Israeli writers’ association.

India and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1992 and are now marking the completion of 25 years of formal ties.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.