New Delhi: India and Israel have agreed to enhance cooperation in the areas of agriculture, science and technology and security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
“We will strengthen the existing pillars of cooperation in areas that touch the lives of our peoples,” Modi said in a joint address to the media with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following delegation level talks here.
“These are agriculture, science and technology and security.,” he stated. “We exchanged views on scaling up the Centers of Excellence that have been a mainstay of agricultural cooperation.”
The Indian Prime Minister said both he and Netanyahu “have imparted our shared impatience to the implementation of our earlier decisions”.
“The results are already visible on the ground. Our discussions today were marked by convergence to accelerate our engagement and to scale up our partnership.”
In defence, Modi said he has invited Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalised FDI regime to make more in India with domestic companies.
“We are venturing into less explored areas of cooperation such as oil & gas, cyber security, films and start-ups,” he stated.
“We are committed to facilitating the flow of people and ideas between our geographies. It requires policy facilitation, infrastructure and connectivity links and fostering constituencies of support beyond government.”
On his part, Netanyahu described Modi as a “revolutionary leader”, who has catapulted India into the future.
He said Modi’s historic visit to Israel last July, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, “excited all Israelis and of course many Israelis of Indian descent and origin”.
“We remember the horrific savagery in Mumbai(2008 terror attacks), we will never give in and will fight back,” Netanyahu said.
“Jews in India have never witnessed anti-Semitism like in some other countries,” he stated. “This is a tribute to India’s great civilisation, tolerance and democracy.”
He said three things bind India and Israel: both share an ancient, both have a vibrant future and both are seizing the opportunities for the future.
“The India-Israel partnership will bring tremendous benefits,” he said.
Following the delegation-level talks, India and Israel exchanged nine agreements, including in the areas of cyber security and oil and gas.
Earlier on Monday, the Israeli Prime Minister was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
Netanyahu, accompanied by a 130-member business delegation, arrived here on Sunday on a six-day visit to India that will also see him going to Agra, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
This is the first Prime Ministerial visit from Israel to India in 15 years after that of Ariel Sharon in 2003.