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India Israel Relations: Marriage Made in Heaven


NEW DELHI: After calling India and Israel “sister democracies” yesterday, PM Benjamin Netanyahu today described the burgeoning cooperation between the two countries as a match made in heaven.

“This is a marriage made in heaven, but we are implementing it here on earth,” Netanyahu said, drawing a hearty laugh from PM Modi and a round of applause from the audience of mediapersons and diplomats.
The two leaders were addressing a joint press conference after holding discussions on an extensive menu of issues earlier in the day. India and Israel inked seven agreements in key sectors like space technology, agriculture and water conservation.

“Our talks focused on not just areas of bilateral opportunities but also how our cooperation can help the cause of global peace and stability,” PM Modi said.

Unveiling the seven Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), Netanyahu said, “We are making history together with my friend Prime Minister Modi and this is deeply moving moment for me.”

The seven MoUs signed between India and Israel includes a bilateral Technology Innovation Fund worth $40 million for research in industrial development. The two countries also decided to work together to reform water utility and the agriculture sector in India.

“We agreed that efficiency of water and resource use; water conservation and its purification; productivity increases in agriculture are key areas in deepening our bilateral cooperation,” PM Modi said.

Netanyahu and Modi also reiterated their commitment to combat the forces of terrorism and radicalisation on a regional as well as global scale.

“India has suffered first hand the violence and hatred spread by terror, so has Israel. PM Netanyahu and I have agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to fight growing radicalization,” the Indian Prime Minister said.

The bonhomie between the two leaders was once again on full display, as they embraced each other and constantly referred to each other as “my friend”. When PM Narendra Modi invited Netanyahu to visit India, the Israeli premier readily accepted.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a three-day bilateral visit to Israel to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations and strengthen India’s already close ties with the Jewish nation.
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