Benjamin Netanyahu To Visit India Again; Solidify India-Israel Defence Relations

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu is planning another trip to India. Netanyahu’s second official trip will focus on boosting India-Israel defence relations. Interestingly, Benjamin Netanyahu became just the second Israeli prime minister to visit India a year ago, after Ariel Sharon who had visited way back in 2003.

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Recently, the Isreali National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat visited India and paid a visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr Netanyahu also called Modi over the telephone to plan a second meeting. India has shown its interest in the additional security deal with the Israeli arms industry.

In his upcoming visit, Netanyahu will also meet Ajit Doval, director general of the defence ministry and national security adviser and chiefs of tri-services. The Prime Minister’s Bureau said that meeting will include discussions regarding relations between the two countries, security deals, as well as agreements on additional actions to promote security, technological and socio-economical cooperation between Israel and India.

Israel is one of the largest sources of defence equipment for India. The arms trade between the two nations is expected to reach over $6 billion in the coming years. Israel won the largest defence contract in its history from India last year to supply Indian Army and Navy with missile defence systems, a deal worth USD 2 billion.

Recently, India has purchased Barak I missiles, 3 phalcon AWACS, and Israeli spike anti-tank missiles from Israel. Moreover, Israel is developing Barak 8 missile for Indian Navy and Air force and also plans to purchase 2 more phalcon AWACS are in progress.

During his last visit to India, Netanyahu had signed a deal to provide India, anti-tank Spike missiles from the Rafael company. As per the data available with the security export wing of the Defence Ministry of Israel for the year 2017, 58% of Israeli arms exports will go to Asia and Pacific countries in which India is a major buyer of Israeli arms.

On January 29, the two countries celebrated 27 years of diplomatic relations. Ever since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1992, several agreements were signed in the field of defence, homeland security, agriculture, water management, education, and even outer space.

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