Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Nerandara Modi signed Wednesday seven agreements of cooperation between Israel and India in the fields of technology, water, agriculture, national security and Space.
Wednesday’s agreements are the centerpiece of Modi ‘s three-day visit to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations and strengthen his country’s already close ties with the Jewish state.
The agreements include three deals regarding closer ties in space development, two water agreements, the cooperation in agriculture was expanded, as well as over matters of national security and a joint, $40 million industrial R&D fund.
During the Cold War, India didn’t have open relations with Israel, leaning heavily in favor of the Palestinians. But over the past quarter century, the countries have developed close ties in areas of hi-tech and defense.
Netanyahu told Modi at a joint dinner at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem: “You make history, we make history together, it’s a very exciting moment for me, personally and in the national and international sense.”
During a joint press conference on Tuesday evening, Netanyahu spoke of the similarities between the two nations, adding that “Together, (Israel and India) account for about 20 percent of the world’s population. But although we are unequal in size, we’re equal in spirit. We believe we can accomplish great things. We have accomplished great things and we have many many more opportunities to seize together in the future.But I have to say that we also face common challenges and the first of it is to defeat the forces of terror that rampage through the world and threaten both our countries. So we must stand together in this battle, much as we work together to perfect the future.”
Modi noted that “in recent years we have hosted many Israeli tourists in India, while at the same time more and more Indian students choose to study at your universities.” He mentioned the common history: “150 kilometers from here is a piece of history in the city of Haifa in Israel that is very important to my country. This is the last resting place for 44 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the First World War in liberating the city. Tomorrow I will go to Haifa to honor the memory of the brave soldiers.”
Modi met with President Reuven Rivlin earlier Wednesday, telling him, “Israel is a real friend… I feel absolutely at home here.”