India, Israel to intensify defence, anti-terror cooperation
The two leaders agreed to intensify cooperation in combating radicalism and extremism while calling for tough global action against terror networks and states harbouring them.india Updated: Nov 15, 2016 19:15 IST
Reflecting a rapid upswing in ties, India and Israel on Tuesday decided to “broad-base” their already close defence partnership and agreed to intensify cooperation in combating radicalism and extremism while calling for tough global action against terror networks and states harbouring them.
In wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, the two sides also resolved to deepen their overall engagement in key areas of trade and investment, agriculture, water resources, education and research.
The two sides also inked two pacts to strengthen cooperation in agriculture and water resources management.
In a media statement after the talks, Modi made a veiled attack on Pakistan, saying one of the countries in India’s neighbourhood has been supporting terrorism, adding that he and Rivlin agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation in combating terror.
“We recognise that terrorism is a global challenge, knows no boundaries and has extensive links with other forms of organized crime. Regrettably, one of the countries of its origin and spread is in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi said.
On his part, Rivlin, the first Israeli President to visit India in nearly 20 years, said both India and Israel were threatened by terrorism as the two countries uphold values of freedom and that nothing can justify terror. He said India and Israel will be together in fighting the menace.
Referring to growing collaboration between the two countries, particularly in the defence sector, Rivlin said his country is ready to “make in India and make with India”.
The Prime Minister said both the countries agreed that the international community must act with “resolve and determination” against terror networks and states that harbour them.
“Failure to act and silence of speech only encourages the terrorists. We agreed to intensify our cooperation to combat the forces of extremism and radicalisation that threaten all peace loving nations,” he said.
Noting that Rivlin’s visit has given a “crucial push” to efforts to build “new pillars” in ties, Modi said both sides noted the strength of the growing defence partnership and agreed on the need to make it “more broad-based” through production and manufacturing partnerships.
India is Israel’s largest buyer of military hardware and the latter has been supplying various weapons systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains.