Israel reiterates ties with India on 26/11 anniversary eve | india | Hindustan Times
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Israel reiterates ties with India on 26/11 anniversary eve

india Updated: Nov 25, 2009 12:36 IST
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On the eve of the 26/11 attacks anniversary, Israel on Wednesday said its fast-rising bilateral trade and tourism ties with India proved that terrorism does not defeat or deter either country.

"Bilateral trade has steadily increased from $200 million in 1992 to $4 billion in 2008 and tourism between the two countries is also growing, with about 35,000 Israelis travelling to India annually and almost 20,000 tourists from India visiting Israel in 2007," the Israeli embassy in New Delhi said in a statement.

On military cooperation and arms sales that have become a central aspect of its relations, Israel overtook Russia as India's leading arms supplier this year, with the countries signing defence contracts worth more than $1 billion in 2007 and 2008.

"India has increasingly turned to Israel for sophisticated weapons systems. The Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 was particularly significant in expediting India's acquisition of air and naval surveillance systems which they bought from Israel," the statement said.

After the November terror attack on Mumbai, India purchased a $600-million aerostat radar system which it has deployed along its border with Pakistan.

The two countries have also embarked on a joint development project for a medium-range air defence system.

Ten members of the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba attacked Mumbai for three days, bombing and shooting at two luxury hotels, a train station, a cafe and the city's Chabad Jewish centre.

At the Chabad centre, the terrorists killed six people including the centre's director Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his pregnant wife, Rivka.