AS INDIA and Israel elevated their relationship to a “strategic partnership” on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries live in complex geographies, and India has suffered first-hand the violence and hatred spread by terror. He said that he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to do “much more together” to protect their strategic interests and combat growing radicalisation and terrorism, including in cyber space. Defence cooperation, under the Make-in-India umbrella, as well as a strategic partnership on water and agriculture were forged between the two countries, with an eye on India’s national development objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, said Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
Stating that the two countries need to cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism, Netanyahu described 26/11 as a “horrible terrorist attack”. He said the two countries are being challenged by “forces of terror” and have agreed to cooperate in countering terrorism. “This is an expression of our commitment…we are fighting for good, seeking the good, defending the good,” said the Israeli PM, after three hours of talks and a working lunch.
“India and Israel live in complex geographies. We are aware of strategic threats to regional peace and stability. India has suffered first-hand the violence and hatred spread by terror. So has Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to combat growing radicalisation and terrorism, including in cyber space,” Modi said in his remarks after the talks.
Watch this also:
While the joint statement made a categorical reference to terrorism, it did not mention the phrase “cross-border terrorism”.
The two countries signed seven agreements pertaining to water, space and agriculture.
“Israel is among the leading nations in the field of innovation, water and agricultural technology. These are also among my priority areas in India’s development. We agreed that efficiency of water and resource use; water conservation and its purification; productivity increases in agriculture are key areas in deepening our bilateral cooperation,” he said.