Benjamin Netanyahu-Narendra Modi’s friendship kite flies high from Delhi to Mumbai: 10 key takeaways

By: | Published: January 18, 2018 11:00 AM

The Israeli Prime Minister was welcomed by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Hebrew and with open arms as he arrived in India for a six-day visit.

Both the leaders call the visit a new era in the relations between India and Israel

The Israeli Prime Minister was welcomed by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Hebrew and with open arms as he arrived in India for a six-day visit. The visit is a reciprocating gesture from Israel to the first Prime Minister-level visit from India undertaken by PM Narendra Modi in July 2017. This visit is significant as it marks the high point of the 25th anniversary of normal diplomatic ties between the two countries. In a statement issued on the visit, the Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon said, “The Prime Minister’s visit to India is the grand finale to celebrations of 25 years of growing partnership between India and Israel. The visit will focus on the progress made between India and Israel since PM Modi visited Israel last summer.” The visit indicates an upswing in bilateral ties between the two nations.

In the course of his visit, apart from attending the events in Delhi, the visiting Prime Minister also travelled to Modi’s home state Gujarat. He will also be reaching out to film world with the ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event.

Here are the 10 key takeaways from the six-day visit of Netanyahu to India so far:

1. The Israeli PM’s visit comes immediately after India joined 127 other nations in voting to declare Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.” However, this hasn’t strained the bilateral relations. Netanyahu said despite his disappointment over the vote, the relationship between Tel Aviv and New Delhi remains strong. “Yes, naturally we were disappointed, but this visit is a testimony that our relationship is moving on so many fronts forward,” Netanyahu said in an interview with a private news channel.

2. Netanyahu has come to India with a business delegation of 130 people. The business delegation which consists of 100 companies, 20 start-ups and 30 government officials from the economic arena, aims to collaborate with Indian companies.

3. The two nations inked nine MoU’s in the field of co-operation on Cyber Security, Oil, and Gas sector, Film co-production, Homeopathic Medicine, Invest India and Invest in Israel.

4. PM Modi invited Israeli defence companies to take advantage of the liberalized FDI regime to make more in India with Indian companies.

5. Protocol between India and Israel on Amendments to the Air Transport Agreement

6. Besides the MoU’s a letter of intent between IOCL and Phinergy Ltd, IOCL and Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd have also been signed.

7. Along with these collaborations, the two governments have also announced to launch an R&D fund of about 40 million dollars to support business from both countries.

8. Israel is also looking to join hands with bodies like ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI, and NASSCOM to nurture business in both the countries, as per various media reports.

9. An agreement on film-co-production between India and Israel have also been signed.

10. The Jewish community will mark Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Mumbai visit with the launch of ‘Namaste Shalom’, a regular monthly magazine on bilateral relations between the two friendly nations. In his message to the magazine, PM Modi said, “The deep friendship of the Indian people with Israel is something worth celebrating. The bond between the two nations goes back centuries in time and will continue to grow stronger.”

Notably, bilateral trade with Israel currently stands at 5.04 billion except co-operation in the Defence sector. And it is increasing at a rate of 2.3 percent.

(With inputs from India-Israel joint statement)

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