Ties with Israel are 'special': Modi ahead of Israel visit
Speaking to Israeli pro-government daily 'Israel Hayom' ahead of his visit, PM Modi termed ties with Israel 'special' and noted that his current visit would further cement bilateral co-operation across key areas including terrorism.
He further termed his visit significant, as the first Israel visit by an Indian PM and noted that his government is intent on raising India-Israel bilateral relationship to new levels.
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Modi's Israel visit to bolster bilateral ties
PM Modi's Israel visit
PM Modi is scheduled to visit Israel on July 4-6, becoming the first Indian PM to visit the country. Modi's visit also coincides with the 25th anniversary of India-Israel diplomatic relations. He had previously visited Israel as Gujarat CM a decade ago.
India was one of the first countries to recognize Israel in 1950 and established diplomatic relations with it in 1992.
India and Israel have many things in common. For one, they have both been former British colonies partitioned on religious lines and thrive in hostile neighbourhoods.
Both countries have further been victims of terrorism and has sizeable diaspora in each other's countries.
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What has been planned for PM Modi's visit?
"PM will hold discussions with PM Benjamin Netanyahu on all matters of mutual interest. He will also call on president Reuven Rivlin", noted the MEA official statement.
He is also scheduled to interact with top Israeli CEOs and the Indian diaspora.
He will further pay his respects at a memorial for Indian martyrs in World War II at Haifa and visit the Holocaust museum.
India looks at Israeli technology as a good fit
He further praised Israel for becoming a water-surplus country from a water-deficient country and indicated that Israeli technology could be a good match for Indian initiatives including the Clean Ganga and Smart City missions.
What does Israel expect?
Speaking at a recent Cabinet meeting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had termed Modi's visit "historic", and termed that it would "deepen co-operation basically in almost every field Israel is involved in, including agriculture, water, energy and security."
Responding to a query on terrorism affecting India and Israel, Modi noted that no country is immune to terrorism.
India and Israel could complement their efforts to fight terrorism, he added.
Boosting defence production under 'Make in India'
While the current visit could likely focus on non-security aspects, defence co-operation is a highlight of India-Israel relations.
India is the largest buyer of Israel's defence supplies, while Israel is India's third largest defence supplier, behind Russia and US and have conducted defence transactions worth $1 billion each year.
India looks to build technology partnerships, especially within defence, to boost 'Make in India'
Growing defence relationship with Israel
Israel has supplied equipment worth $10 million to India including drones and missiles, in the past 15 years. Israeli Aerospace Industries, recently inked a deal with DRDO and defence PSU, Bharat Electronics Ltd. to co-produce Barak-8 Long Range-Surface-to-Air Missiles ahead of PM Modi's visit.