Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

India Seeking to Strengthen Defense Partnership With Israel - Foreign Office

India Seeking to Strengthen Defense Partnership With Israel - Foreign Office

Speaking on Friday ahead of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's six-day visit to India starting Sunday, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Carmon said the Spike project could be undertaken by both Indian and Israeli companies and would be part of the "Make in India" initiative if it goes through.

India had last month joined 127 other countries to vote in the UNGA in favour of a resolution opposing the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

India had initially sealed the deal to buy Israel's Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, with reports at the time saying India was set to purchase 8,000 Spike missiles and 300 launchers in a deal worth some $500 million.

"The Prime Minister's visit to India is the grand finale to the celebrations 25 years of growing partnership between India and Israel". During Netanyahu's visit to the country next week, meetings between Israeli and Indian officials are expected to focus on ways to increase cooperation in areas of tourism, agriculture and innovation. The visit is being seen as extremely significant as the two countries, are celebrating 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties.

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The Israeli envoy however evaded a direct question on whether Israel had approached India for support ahead of the United Nations vote.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire. He will also participate in the Indo-Israeli CEO Forum in Delhi. The prime minister will also host a private dinner for the Israeli leader. It is reported that he will be accompanied by the relatives of the Jewish priest who was killed along with his wife in the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.

One of Mr Netanyahu's stops on the trip, the first by an Israeli premier since Ariel Sharon in 2003, will be in Mumbai where he will meet on January 18 with stars and executives of India's mammoth film industry. After debates, each lasting long hours, in which ministers tried to reduce the cuts to their budgets, it was decided to make significant budgetary additions to the social welfare ministries.

Not disheartened by Indias vote against Israel at the UN General Assembly on the issue of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed hope that bilateral ties would receive a further boost during his milestone visit to the country.

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