Israeli PM to arrive in India today; trade, defence on agenda

Israeli PM to arrive in India today; trade, defence on agenda

Israeli PM to arrive in India today; trade, defence on agenda

The two statements have put on hold speculations on the outcome of the Israeli PM's visit to India following the recent developments in the past one month. Just a week ago, India had cancelled the deal with the Israeli Rafael Advance Defence Systems Ltd, after the company refused full transfer of technology as per the provisions of the "Make in India" initiative.

Ahead of Netanyahu's visit, Israeli bureaucrats and defence industry representatives have been holding strategy meetings on their approach to the Indian market ever since India made it known that it required them to set up manufacturing plants in the country for repeat orders.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel last July in the first such trip by a holder of his office. In April previous year the two countries signed a military deal worth almost $2 billion, which includes the supply of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology.

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It will be the second visit by an Israeli Prime Minister to India after a gap of 15 years since Ariel Sharon visited New Delhi in 2003.

"The vote at United Nations is important, but it will not mar the big picture of the India-Israel relationship". "I am deeply honoured to stand here today to salute the valiant soldiers, who laid down their lives for the liberation of Haifa during the first World War", Modi had written in the visitors' book.

Again in 1971, Israel helped India during the India-Pakistan war. This visit will also help strengthen earlier agreements such as the "Strategic Partnership in Water and Agriculture", water conservation, waste-water treatment and its reuse for agriculture, desalination and water utility reforms.

"Moshe is accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and there will also be a ceremony at Chabad House", said Israel's Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon. Israel is a major seller of weaponry to India, about $1 billion annually.

Indias Kalyani group and Israels state-run Rafael Advanced Defence Systems had commissioned a Rs 70 crore production facility near Hyderabad in August a year ago, anticipating that the Israeli firm would bag the contract. When PM Modi went to Israel, the two leaders sat in a desalination vehicle which can purify 20,000 litres of sea water daily and 80,000 litres of muddy and contaminated river water daily.

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