A day ahead on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel, a senior official from the Israeli foreign ministry has said that his country stands with India against the terrorism emanating Pakistan and is not asking for a quid pro quo. Speaking to Indian Express, Mark Sofer, deputy director general in charge of the Asia and Pacific division said, “Israel supports India on terrorism emanating out of Pakistan, hook, line and sinker. But we are not asking for a quid pro quo… the horrors coming from Pakistan…the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the rogue operations from Pakistan. We say that India has the right to defend itself, just like Israel has the right to defend itself. I don’t see a difference between LeT and Hamas. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist.”
This is going to be PM Modi’s maiden and first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the middle east country. The PM is expected to arrive in Israel at 4 pm local time and will be received by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet leaders at the airport. As per reports, both prime ministers will meet on Wednesday to discuss the key issues such as agriculture and water. PM Modi, who is on a two-day visit, will be accompanied by Netanyahu after hosting a private dinner for the Indian PM at his official residence on Tuesday, the report added further. PM Modi is also scheduled to visit a floriculture farm and the Holocaust museum during his visit.
As per Indian Express, the former ambassador to India said that the two countries will sign three agreements on space cooperation which will be a joint strategic partnership on water and agriculture. The delegation will also launch a joint CEOs forum. Even a new Indian cultural centre will be opened in Israel.
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Expressing his view on some common concern between the two nations, Sofer said, “Both countries face the same challenges of terrorism and face the same struggle. No civilised country can defeat terrorism by itself. All like-minded countries, like India and Israel, have to make a concerted effort.” Sofer also said that though counter-terrorism cooperation will not be the main agenda of the talks, but will definitely be a part of the discussions. “When countries are faced with similar challenges, then like-minded democratic countries have to come together to fight against those evil challenges,” Indian Express quoted him saying further.
Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said the both India and Israel had signed an pact on homeland security in 2014 and cooperation was happening on that front.