First visit by Indian prime minister to Israel; Modi to sign 7 cooperative agreements with Israel
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel Tuesday, making history as the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel.
Modi will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin and will reportedly sign 7 referendums of understandings with the State of Israel in the areas of agriculture, technology, water and cyber security.
In an interview with the Indian president, Modi spoke of his respect for Israel’s technology and inventions. He stated, “In India, Israel is perceived as a technological powerhouse, and a country that has braved many odds. Many tech-based inventions have their roots in Israeli universities and laboratories and have benefited humankind. These include articles ranging from USB flash drives to cherry tomatoes. The way you transformed yourself from being a water-deficient country to a water-surplus country; the manner in which you made your deserts bloom, are all amazing accomplishments. All these images have made a deep imprint on my mind.”
Modi was personally invited by President Rivlin last year, Rivlin visiting India to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations with Israel.
During his visit, Rivlin spoke in detail of economic cooperation between Israel and India, stating at the time “As we mark 25 years of our diplomatic relations, this is not just a partnership that we talk about. This is a partnership which is making a difference for Israelis and Indians in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the technology we use, and many important areas of our lives. Prime Minister, you have called on the world, to ‘Make in India’. I am here to say: Israel is ready to answer this call. Israel is ready to ‘Make in India’, and Make with India.”
Last month, Israel’s Israel Aerospace Industries and Bharat Electronics Limited reportedly signed a $630 million dollar deal with India after years of negotiations. This deal came just three a few weeks after Israel signed a historic $2 billion arms deal with India. It was the largest arms deal made in Israel’s history. As part of the deal, Israel will provide multiple aircraft and helicopters, drones, and missile defense systems to India. Four Indian ships are to be equipped with Israel’s Barak 8 missile defense system.
According to Israel Aerospace Industries CEO, Joseph Weiss, “The new contract adds to other deals signed in the last decade by IAI with India’s defense forces, reinforcing IAI’s global leadership position in air and missile defense systems.”
The new deal is part of a collaborative agreement, referred to as part of the project “Make in India”, a “collaboration between India’s DRDO [Defense Research and Development Organization], IAI [Israel Aerospace Industries] and the defense forces of both countries. We will proceed to implementing it with joint efforts
Israeli-Indian economic and diplomatic relations continue to increase, with Israel becoming India’s main military and defense provider.