New Delhi: India and Israel on Monday pledged to fight terror as the two countries sought to broad base their relationship on the silver jubilee of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalised FDI regime in the defence sector and the two countries also underlined the need for working towards Free Trade and Bilateral Investment treaties.
On the second day of his six-day visit to India, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with PM Modi, both one-on-one and delegation level, after which the two sides reached agreements in various fields including a Memorandum of Understanding on Cyber Security Cooperation.
Following are the top developments:
- Netanyahu showered praise on PM Modi saying he is a "revolutionary" leader who has catapulted India into the future.
- A joint statement issued later said the two Prime Ministers agreed that renewed efforts were required to realise the full potential for bilateral trade and investment and noted that the next round of bilateral discussions will be held next month in Israel.
- The Prime Ministers urged the private sector to actively explore investment opportunities in both countries, including through India's flagship programmes such as Make in India, Start-Up India and Digital India.
- Both sides noted the readiness of Israeli companies to enter into joint ventures with Indian companies in the defence sector under the Make in India initiative.
- Recognising the grave threat terrorism poses to peace and security including from non-state actors, PM Modi and Netanyahu reiterated that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever and advocated strong measures against terrorists, terror organisations, those who sponsor, encourage or finance terrorism or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups.
- They also noted with satisfaction that the next meeting of the joint working groups on homeland and public security will be held next month.
- They reiterated the importance of building comprehensive cooperation in counter-terrorism, including cyber-space and welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Cyber Security between India and Israel.
- At a media briefing later, Vijay Gokhale, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, said both countries shared similarities in their approach to tackling terrorism. "The two countries have said we will not tolerate terrorism in any manner," he said.
- In reply to a question on not naming Pakistan in the document, he said it was not necessary to name countries each time. There was no divergence of views on the issue, he added.
- India and Israel signed nine agreements following the talks, including two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on cooperation in the areas of oil and gas and cybersecurity, and two letters of intent between Indian Oil and two Israeli entities on metal-air batteries and solar thermal technologies.
- The two sides also discussed the situation in West Asia and UN Security Council reforms but Iran's nuclear programme did not figure.
- Netanyahu, accompanied by a 130-member business delegation, arrived in India on Sunday on a six-day visit. This is the first Prime Ministerial visit from Israel to India in 15 years after that of Ariel Sharon in 2003.
(With IANS inputs)