As Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits India, after Narendra Modi's historic visit to the Jewish country in July last year, it seems, there is no visible break-up in their ties.
Despite a recent setback at the UN when India decided not to vote for the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Narendra Modi-Benjamin Netanyahu bonhomie apparently continues to grow stronger. Israeli daily Haaretz has described the setback at the UN as “cracks” in the “love affair” between the two countries. “…cracks have appeared in the love affair between the small country and the world’s largest democracy, which turned its back on Israel at a time of need: Last month’s UN General Assembly vote that rejected the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
However, as Israeli PM Netanyahu visits India, after Modi’s historic visit to the Jewish country in July last year, it seems, there is no visible break-up in the ties. On Sunday, Modi broke the protocol to receive his Israeli counterpart, who is on a six-day visit to India. Interestingly, this is Netanyahu’s first visit to India as the Israeli PM. On Monday, PM Modi heaped praise on the ties between India and Israel. “My good friend, Welcome to India!,” Modi said, “As our first honoured guest in 2018, your visit marks a special beginning to our New Year calendar.”
Modi recalled his last visit to Israel that was marked by the “desire to do more”. “Last year in Tel Aviv, you had expressed the intent to cut down bureaucratic red tape with a machete and forge ahead with speed,” the India PM said and assured the guest New Delhi is on its way “to doing just that”.
Modi said India-Israel will “accelerate” engagement and scale up the partnership in three ways:
- First: “We will strengthen the existing pillars of cooperation in areas that touch the lives of our peoples. These are agriculture, science and technology, and security,” Modi said.
- Second: “We are venturing into less explored areas of cooperation, such as oil& gas, cybersecurity, films, and start-ups. You will find this reflected in the agreements that were just exchanged. Several of these areas are indicative of our desire to diversify and broad-based engagement,” said India PM.
- Third: “We are committed to facilitating the flow of people and ideas between our geographies. It requires policy facilitation, infrastructure and connectivity links and fostering constituencies of support beyond Government.” said Modi.
India and Israel have signed several MoUs/agreement/Letter of Intent. These are:
|S.No.||MoU / Agreement / LoI signed by India-Israel|
|1||MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel|
|2||MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation inOil and Gas Sector|
|3||Protocol between India and Israel on Amendments to the Air Transport Agreement|
|4||Agreement on Film-co-production between India and Israel|
|5||MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and the Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Cooperation in the field of Research in Homeopathic Medicine|
|6||MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space|
|7||Memorandum of Intent between Invest India and Invest in Israel|
|8||Letter of Intent between IOCL and Phinergy Ltd. For cooperation in the area of metal-air batteries|
|9||Letter of Intent between IOCL and Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd for cooperation in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies|
Both India and PM Modi has invited Israeli defence companies to India for co-production in the sector. He said India and Israel will strengthen the existing pillars of cooperation in areas such as agriculture, technology and security. In response, Netanyahu described Modi as a “revolutionary” leader. “You are revolutionising India and also relations between India and Israel,” Netanyahu said, addressing Modi.