Ahead of the expected visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip later this year, India and Israel have reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Bilateral talks between India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and his Israeli counterpart Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, focussed on strengthening cooperation in different sectors including finance, health, connectivity, high tech, digital & innovation, and mobility tourism. Both ministers noted the progress in the I2U2 and cooperation in multilateral forums and also exchanged perspectives on Indo-Pacific, Ukraine and respective regions.
Later at India Israel Business Forum meeting at CII, three agreements were inked in the presence of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and the Israeli foreign minister. Agreements related to water and agriculture were inked as there is a huge potential to do more in these areas. India and Israel have inked an agreement in the area of mobility.
The Israeli foreign minister had arrived in New Delhi earlier today to explore ways to further expand the bilateral relations between the two countries and this was also a preparatory visit for the visit of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Dr Jaishankar posted on social media that the talks with his counterpart focused on the main pillars of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries – Defence & Security, Agriculture and Water.
Visit cut short
The visiting minister a few hours after landing in India had to cut short his three days visit citing security situation in his country. From New Delhi, the Israeli minister was scheduled to travel to Mumbai and Agra.
The Israeli minister expressed hope that he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then shorten his visit and return to Israel due to the situation in his country. In reports quoting him he said that he was receiving constant updates on the situation in Israel.
Reports in the public domain from Tel Aviv have indicated that a major military offensive has been launched targeting some militants in Gaza Strip by Israel. Reports have mentioned that in the airstrikes 12 Palestinians including three commanders of a militant group Islamic Jihad were killed.
Ties between the two countries in sectors like defence and security, water management and agriculture have deepened over years. And the leaders PM Modi and his Israeli counterpart are keen to further strengthen strategic cooperation at bilateral level.