Is­rael-In­dia Ties for To­mor­row

In­dia-Is­rael bond­ing is reach­ing new heights, thanks to the global lead­er­ship qual­i­ties of the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi and his Is­raeli coun­ter­part, Benjamin Ne­tanyahu

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - [ By R. Chan­drakanth ]

In­dia and Is­rael re­la­tion­ship has taken on a new mean­ing, new di­men­sion and new depth, even as the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi be­came the first In­dian Prime Min­is­ter to visit Is­rael in 70 years. Naren­dra Modi who re­ceived a red car­pet wel­come, usu­ally re­served for the Pope, rightly stated that this was a ‘path­break­ing jour­ney’ while the Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter, Benjamin Ne­tanyahu ac­knowl­edg­ing the his­toric visit said “Aapka swaa- gat hai mere dost, we have waited for you 70 years.” The Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter also said “You are a great leader of In­dia and a great world leader: PM@ne­tanyahu to PM @naren­dramodi”

Modi said “I be­gin a his­toric visit to Is­rael, a very spe­cial part­ner of In­dia’s... As the first In­dian prime min­is­ter to do so, I am greatly look­ing for­ward to this un­prece­dented visit that will bring our two coun­tries and peo­ple closer.” He also tweeted “I look for­ward to hold­ing ex­ten­sive talks with my friend, @Is­raeliPM @ne­tanyahu, who shares a com­mit­ment for vi­brant In­dia-Is­rael ties.”

Modi and his del­e­ga­tion signed seven agree­ments – three on space, two on wa­ter and one on in­no­va­tion and one other on Mashav, Is­rael’s Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion. The two lead­ers signed co­op­er­a­tion on satel­lite tech­nol­ogy, wa­ter and agri­cul­ture, as well as the cre­ation of a $40 mil­lion in­no­va­tion fund. The agree­ments are part of ef­forts to ex­tend re­la­tions in civil­ian ar­eas be­tween both coun­tries, with Is­rael al­ready sell­ing In­dia an av­er­age of $1 bil­lion per year in mil­i­tary equip­ment.

The joint state­ment was pre­ceded by anec­dotes to in­di­cate their per­sonal friend­ship. Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu said a long-ago date at an In­dian restau­rant was fol­lowed by a mar­riage that has lasted 26 years.

In­dia and Is­rael have strong de­fence part­ner­ship with the lat­ter sup­ply­ing key arms and am­mu­ni­tion, though on this visit de­fence is not the pri­mary fo­cus of the trip. Is­rael is rec­og­nized as a trust­wor­thy part­ner in de­fence re­search and de­vel­op­ment, hav­ing sup­plied weapon sys­tems, mis­siles and un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles such as the Heron, in the past. The In­dian Air Force op­er­ates about 180 Is­raeli-made UAVs, in­clud­ing 108 IAI-made Searchers and 68 un­armed Heron 1s for sur­veil­lance and in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing. Ac­cord­ing to the Pres­i­dent and CEO of Is­rael Aero­space In­dus­tries (IAI) Joseph Weiss, “In­dia is one of IAI’s lead­ing mar­kets.” Thus, de­fence co­op­er­a­tion has been one of the main pil­lars of bi­lat­eral en­gage­ment be­tween the two na­tions, with de­fence trade hav­ing av­er­age an­nual sales of over $1 bil­lion.

The Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter said Is­rael en­dorsed In­dia’s plan of ‘Make in In­dia’ and ac­cord­ingly the theme in Is­rael is ‘Make with In­dia’.

Call­ing vis­it­ing In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi “a great world leader”, Is­raeli Pre­mier Benjamin Ne­tanyahu said ties be­tween the two coun­tries were per­fect to math­e­mat­i­cal pre­ci­sion and de­scribed the friend­ship for­mula as the square of I and of T if mul­ti­plied equalled “Is­rael, In­dia Ties for To­mor­row”. Prime Min­is­ter Modi said “I for I, In­dia for Is­rael and Is­rael for In­dia,” while be­ing greeted with a warm hug by Pres­i­dent Rivlin.

In the months lead­ing up to In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s his­toric visit to Is­rael, In­dia signed two arms deals, spend­ing $2.6 bil­lion on Is­raeli mis­sile de­fense sys­tems. How­ever, de­fence trade took a back seat dur­ing the visit, in­stead the two lead­ers and del­e­ga­tions firmed up deals to do with med­i­cal de­vices, hi-tech and wa­ter sys­tems.

The Min­is­ter of State for De­fence, Sub­hash Bhamre has stated that seven of the 37 con­tracts signed by In­dia for the pro­cure­ment of weapons and mil­i­tary plat­forms over the past two years were with Is­rael, thus mak­ing Is­rael the sec­ond big­gest source for weapons af­ter the United States.

Giv­ing the part­ner­ship fur­ther boost is the visit of Prime Min­is­ter, Modi who em­pha­sized on com­mon chal­lenges and the aims to de­feat forces of ter­ror. “We must res­o­lutely op­pose the evils of ter­ror­ism, rad­i­cal­ism and vi­o­lence that plague our time.” He said about the fu­ture chal­lenges ly­ing ahead of both coun­tries, “Com­mon ob­jec­tives of eco­nomic pros­per­ity, strong tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion ties and the need to se­cure our so­ci­eties de­fine the space for con­ver­gent ac­tion be­tween us.”

Af­ter vis­it­ing the Yad Vashem Memo­rial mu­seum to re­mem­ber and honour over six mil­lion Jewish lives that were lost in the hor­ror of the holo­caust, Prime Min­is­ter Modi said “Yad Vashem tells us that those who be­lieve in hu­man­ity and civ­i­lized val­ues must come to­gether and de­fend it at all costs. As such, we must res­o­lutely op­pose the evils of ter­ror­ism, rad­i­cal­ism and vi­o­lence that plague our time.”

Ex­tend­ing his hand of friend­ship, Prime Min­is­ter Modi said “In mod­ern times, our ties have seen rapid growth since the es­tab­lish­ment of our full diplo­matic re­la­tions a quar­ter cen­tury ago. Com­mon ob­jec­tives of eco­nomic pros­per­ity, strong tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion ties and the need to se­cure our so­ci­eties de­fine the space for con­ver­gent ac­tion be­tween us. Over com­ing decades, we want to frame a re­la­tion­ship that trans­forms the land­scape of our eco­nomic en­gage­ment. In­dia is the world’s fastest grow­ing large econ­omy.

Our fo­cus on us­ing tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion to meet our de­vel­op­ment pri­or­i­ties pro­vides pro­duc­tive scope to ex­pand our aca­demic, sci­en­tific & re­search, and busi­ness links. We also want to put in place a ro­bust se­cu­rity part­ner­ship to re­spond to shared threats to our peace, sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity. I will work with Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu to craft and build a clear ac­tion agenda to re­alise th­ese ob­jec­tives.” Prime Min­is­ter Modi tweeted “My talks with @Is­raeliPM @ne­tanyahu fo­cussed on #In­di­aIs­raelFriend­ship as well as how our ties can help fur­ther world peace & sta­bil­ity.”

Call­ing vis­it­ing In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi “a great world leader”, Is­raeli Pre­mier Benjamin Ne­tanyahu said ties be­tween the two coun­tries were per­fect to math­e­mat­i­cal pre­ci­sion and de­scribed the friend­ship for­mula as the square of I and of T if mul­ti­plied equalled “Is­rael, In­dia Ties for To­mor­row”.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and the Prime Min­is­ter of Is­rael, Benjamin Ne­tanyahu in Tel Aviv, Is­rael, on July 5, 2017

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi de­liv­er­ing his press state­ment on ar­rival in Tel Aviv, Is­rael, on July 4, 2017

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