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Army chief's visit to Israel cancelled

Army Chief General VK Singh's visit to Israel next month has been cancelled because of "instability" in West Asian region, particularly Syria, Government said on Tuesday.

delhi Updated: Feb 28, 2012 21:29 IST

Army Chief General VK Singh's visit to Israel next month has been cancelled because of "instability" in West Asian region, particularly Syria, Government said on Tuesday.

Singh's three-day official visit to Israel was scheduled to start from March 16.

"Syria is restless and other things are happening in the region...," minister of state for defence MM Pallam Raju told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday while replying to a question on the reasons for cancellation of the visit by the defence ministry.

"Primarily because of what is happening in Syria which is experiencing little turbulence. So I guess it is better. I am sure they must be better informed about the situation."

When asked why the decision was taken so late, he said, "These things can happen anytime. We cannot predict. So it is better to be cautious."

During his visit, the Army Chief was expected to discuss with his Israeli counterpart the future joint development of defence programmes.

Defence cooperation between India and Israel has been burgeoning since diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Tel Aviv were established in 1992.

The ties have become stronger in the recent times with India emerging as the largest purchaser of Israeli defence hardware since the beginning of the 21st Century.