Significance of PM Modi's Israel visit enormous: Israeli envoy

Israel's Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon on Tuesday called the coming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel as enormously significant.

IANS| Last Updated: Apr 26, 2017, 00:50 AM IST

New Delhi: Israel's Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon on Tuesday called the coming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel as enormously significant.

"Its timing is so right. The fact that this visit happens after so many years, after being so hesitant, after not talking about it... things have evolved. It took an effort," Carmon said after delivering a special address on 'India-Israel: Enduring Partnership' at an event organised by Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library here.

"The (bilateral) relation is very deep," he said. 

On the importance of the bilateral defence relationship, the envoy said, "The defence relationship is there. It is not the only facet of our relation. In order to reflect the depth of our relation, we should be doing more in other areas."

Although the dates have not been finalised, Modi is expected to visit Israel in July while returning from G-20 Summit in Hamburg (Germany) from July 7-8.

This will be the first prime ministerial visit from India to Israel.

On a query on terrorism, Carmon said: "Terrorism is one of the challenges that we face and India and Israel have suffered a lot due to terrorism."

"The challenge is how to unite the forces -- either bilaterally or through an international mechanism. The world lacks the mechanism; the world even lacks the definition of what terrorism is."

"This is a new battlefield and it is not between the armies anymore," he added.

Carmon also talked of the challenge of safeguarding human rights while fighting terrorism.

During his address, Carmon said his country's focus now is on cooperation in the field of water resources management, dairy farming and agricultural cooperation at the next level.

He also talked about promotion of better understanding between the people of the two countries about each other's culture and history.

Offering his condolences on the death of CRPF jawans in the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, Carmon said: "Very sad news from Chhattisgarh. We have sent out our condolences to the victims' families."

India and Israel are celebrating 25th year of their diplomatic relationship.

India established diplomatic relations with Israel on January 29, 1992. Since then, two Israeli Presidents -- Ezer Weizmann and Reuven Rivlin -- have visited India, in 1996 and 2016 respectively.

President Pranab Mukherjee visited Israel in October 2015.

Israel Aerospace Industries on April 6 announced the signing of contracts worth almost $2 billion for the supply of medium-range surface-to-air missiles and the missile defence systems to the Indian Army.

Israel is one of the largest and most reliable suppliers of military hardware to India.