India and Israel have elevated their ties to a strategic partnership as New Delhi identified Tel Aviv as a major development and technological partner. The both nations agreed to combat growing radicalization and terrorism and expand co-operation in cyber security.
The strong convergence emerged after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Benjamin Netynyahu completed official discussions. A joint statement issued after the talks in Jerusalem said, the two countries decided to set up a Technological Innovation Fund worth 40 million dollars. Both the countries also decided to co-operate in the field of space research. The Prime Minister called upon the industrialists from Israel to come and invest in the defence sector as India has opened up and has now allowed 100% FDI in this sector.
Addressing the Indian community at a large gathering in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that India will remove difficulties faced by Jewish Citizens of Indian origin in Israel in getting the overseas citizen of India, OCI card. He said the OCI card would now also be given to those people of Indian origin who served in the Israeli government’s compulsory army service. Mr Modi also announced that India will soon start an air service from Delhi and Mumbai to Israel. India will also set up a cultural centre in Israel to give a boost to people to people contact between the two countries.
The Prime Minister said that the youth of the two countries can serve as the bridge for cooperation in the field of science and technology and innovation. Praising Israel’s achievements in the field of water conservation and agriculture he said that Israel can support India in bringing about second green revolution. Mr Modi said, science, innovation and research will form the core of cooperation between India and Israel.
In his almost 45 minute long speech Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the historical and cultural ties between the countries which go back to many centuries. Talking about the contribution of Jewish people Prime Minister Modi said that the number of Jews in India is few but they have made their presence felt gloriously in various fields. He mentioned that the signature tune of All India Radio in 1935 was composed by a Jewish person.
Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the gathering. In his brief address he said that India and Israel are two ancient people who are going to seize the future. He said the visit of prime Minister Modi has brought the relationship between the two countries to a new level.
AIR Correspondent reports that On the last day of his historic visit to Israel, Prime Minister Modi will be going to Haifa to pay tribute to Indian soldiers who lost their life defending the city in the first world War. He will lay wreath in the cemetery of Indian soldiers. Later in the day he will address the CEO forum in which 30 business leaders from India and Israel are expected to participate. In the afternoon Prime Minister will leave for Hamburg in Germany to participate in G-20 summit.