Israel-India ties have never been warmer in 2017, as the two made very major steps to promote cooperation in all fields. It was announced in the Hindustan Times that Indian PM Narendra Modi is expected to visit the Jewish State in July, the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister in Israel. The visit will take place on his way to participate in the G-20 Summit in Hamburg on July 7-8.
Hindustan Times also reported that G. Mohan Kumar, India’s Secretary of Defense – which is the equivalent in Israel to the Defense Ministry’s Director-General, will visit as well in late April, for a working group meeting on Military Cooperation that will, among others, help prepare for Modi’s visit..
Modi’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval visited last month for two days, to lay the groundwork for the Indian premier’s trip.
A spokesman at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem confirmed that the Indian PM will be arriving in early July.
Although the final itinerary has not yet been set, Modi – in a break from previous high profile visits to Israel by senior Indian officials – is not expected to visit the Palestinian Authority, making this visit a completely-exclusive Israeli trip with no sidetracking. Nevertheless, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to travel to India at the beginning of next month and meet with Indian officials as a part of it.
On Tuesday, Modi tweeted a “happy holidays, friends” Passover greeting in Hebrew and transliterated English. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by tweeting, “Thank you, my friend, for your kind holiday greeting. The people of Israel eagerly await your historic visit.”
Modi’s visit will “be an open acknowledgment of India’s close ties with Israel, and also pave the way for transfer of high-end agricultural technologies that will benefit Indian farmers.”
We are looking at a major step in Israel-India Relations, another part of the Israeli Foreign Policy for 2017-2018, consisting of strengthening the ties with the Jewish State’s Asian Allies.
The ties between the two states have always been blooming, as India stands in the peak of the economic pyramid and a major point of interest for the whole world. India itself sees Israel as a powerful ally, and the two sides eagerly promote whatever Relations they can on every major chance given.
Earlier this year a few major breakthrough in Israel-India Relations occurred:
- The Government of Israel formed a Travel-Visa agreement with India aiming to ease access for Indian investors and businessman.
- A short while after, Israel struck with India what might as well be the greatest defense deal in the history of the Jewish State, summing up at the acquisition of defense and missile arms worth 2 Billion Dollars.
According to the report in the Hindustan Times, “though Israel is among the top four military hardware suppliers to India, with more than $1 billion in annual sales to New Delhi, the Modi government is keen to ensure that this visit is not focused on defense ties alone, but encompasses long-term economic and technological cooperation, resulting in a free-trade agreement.”
By the look of things, it remains to be seen what important developments we will witness in the upcoming months, which are deemed to be very important for Israel-India Relations.