Deepening of ties in trade, defence on table during Netanyahu's India visit

The Indian government is discussing ways to revive a $500 million order to buy Israel missiles

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India next week and ways to further deepen the already close defence ties between the two countries may figure during his talks with Indian leaders here, the report added.

The visit begins in New Delhi where Netanyahu will have dinner with Modi and meet Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.

On Tuesday, the minister will leave for Agra and visit Taj Mahal in the city.

Israel is India's third largest defense partner after Russian Federation and the US.

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

Mr Modi also plans to visit Palestine in February, following a trip to the UAE.

In 1950, India recognised Israel, but did not establish diplomatic relations.

"I think everybody can see that. So the optics are strong from the get-go".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have another road show from the airport in Ahmedabad next week, this one with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his side in an open-top Gypsy decorated with flowers for the nine-km ride to Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati ashram. The Israeli PM will call on President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.

Israeli PM will reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.

Carmon said a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is "on the agenda" but acknowledged that the two countries had different priorities despite the fact that there were so many "complementarities" between India and Israel. Defence infrastructure plays a large part in this.

India buys arms worth about $1.5 billion from Israel, accounting for about a sixth of the production of Israel's armament industry.

"Rafael has received an official statement from the Indian ministry of defence on the cancellation of the Spike missile deal", the company told the Jerusalem Post newspaper last week.

There is speculation about the revival of talks on India's purchase of 8,000 Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel that was cancelled previous year.

"But I would say the most important element of what we want to put together on the joint table is innovation", he said.

"India imports critical defence technologies from Israel". "Both Netanyahu and Modi have common political and ideological backgrounds, with nationalism leading the narratives from a Hindu point of view for Modi and Zionist point of view for Netanyahu".

Again in 1971, Israel helped India during the India-Pakistan war.

"Let's not forget that before Modi visited Israel past year, he hosted Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi as well", Mr Taneja said.

Let it be known that India voted against Israel during a session of United Nations in December, however, Modi's counterpart seems to be giving two hoots to the move. "India's stance on Palestine is not new, and Israel is well aware of it".

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