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Trade, defence ties on top of agenda for Modi-Netanyahu meet at noon

India and Israel are aiming to boost their partnership with the two countries set to sign a slew of pacts after a meeting between their prime ministers.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2018 11:44 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times,New Delhi
Indo-Israel ties,Narendra Modi,Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu ( r) on their arrival at the Air Force Palam airport Station in New Delhi, India, on Sunday.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

India and Israeli are set to deepen defence, economic and cultural ties between the two countries during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu Monday noon.

The meeting is expected to boost Indo-Israeli engagements and a slew of pacts are expected to be signed after the talks between Modi and Netanyahu, officials said. The two leaders will have a one-on-one meeting before the delegations of the two sides sit for discussions at the Hyderabad House.

Several MoUs, including those in the field of oil and gas, renewable energy, amended protocol for airports, cyber security, and co-production of films and documentaries, will be signed between the two sides. An official said Israel’s Saare Tzedek hospital would sign a deal to share knowledge in the field of homoeopathy and Ayurveda that have been gaining popularity in Israel recently.

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology would also be signing an agreement with the ministry of science and technology. A delegation of 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies in the fields of agriculture, water, cyber security, health care and security are accompanying Netanyahu on his trip.

Netanyahu is only the second Israeli Prime Minister to visit India after Ariel Sharon in 2003 since the two countries established diplomatic ties barely 25 years ago.

Ahead of Netanyahu’s visit a senior official here said Israel will be investing $68.6 million to boost cooperation with India in areas like tourism, technology, agriculture and innovation over a period of four years.

The commitment is in addition to the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund of $40 million over five years with equal contribution from both sides that has already been agreed between the two nations, Deputy Director General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Gilad Cohen, had told PTI ahead of the visit.

Modi, who made history in July when he became the first Indian PM to visit Israel, will accompany Netanyahu for most part of his tour that will also take him to Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Agra.

Israel is one of India’s biggest weapons suppliers, exporting an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.

But days before Netanyahu’s arrival, India called off a $500 million deal to buy 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel’s state-owned defence contractor Rafael.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 09:00 IST