India and Israel on Tuesday decided to step up their defence partnership and counter terrorism cooperation, and called upon the global community to act tough against terror networks and states harbouring them.
The two countries will also broaden their ties in areas such as trade and investment, agriculture, water resources and cyber crime during the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Rivlin is on a six day visit to India and his trip is expected to pave way for Modis visit to Israel, possibly next year.
This is the second presidential visit to India since both countries established diplomatic ties in 1992.
Modi said people of both countries were constantly threatened by forces of terrorism and extremism in and both sides agreed to intensify cooperation in combating them effectively, particularly having “practical and specific” engagement such as in the cyber domain.
“We recognise that terrorism is a global challenge, knows no boundaries and has extensive links with other forms of organized crime,” he said.
In an obvious reference to Pakistan, the Prime Minister said, “Regrettably, one of the countries of its origin and spread is in India’s neighbourhood.
“We 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,” he said.
Rivlin asserted that nothing can justify terrorism.
“We stand together in defending our people and our values.”
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.
The Israeli president also said his country is ready to “make in India and make with India“.
Stating that Rivlin’s visit gives a “crucial push” to efforts to build new pillars in bilateral 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.
The two sides inked two pacts to strengthen cooperation in agriculture and water resources management sectors.