Netanyahu to arrive on six-day visit to India

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Globes Business Conference at the Jerusalem Convention Center

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Globes Business Conference at the Jerusalem Convention Center

Talking about the ever-growing relationship between India and Israel, Israel Ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be on his first visit to India soon with an objective to strengthen co-operation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Netanyahu "will visit the country along with 130 businessmen for trade talks", Indian broadcaster NDTV reported, quoting a senior Israeli official.

It was considered to be a huge success to symbolise the deepening ties between the two countries. Over 150 corporate leaders will be accompanying the prime minister on the trip.

Events since then seemed as if they might rock the relationship somewhat. PM Modi's visit previous year has helped diversify the bilateral relation.

"The votes at the United Nations have been on the joint agenda of India and Israel".

Asked whether purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel through the government-to-government (G- to-G) route will be discussed during Netanyahu's visit, Bhaskar had refused to give a direct reply. Of the cancelled missile deal, he added: "I think you are going to see an expansion of economic and other ties regardless of this or that deal".

Netanyahu will be visiting New Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. "So the optics are strong from the get-go".

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India needs Iran to counter Pakistan in Afghanistan through the Chahbahar port route, but it has a hard balancing act to perform given Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personalised ties with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

During his visit, Mr Netanyahu will hold meetings with Mr Modi and Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

"The visit will include New Delhi, Gujarat and Mumbai", it said. Defence infrastructure plays a large part in this. India is Israel's biggest arms market, buying around $1 billion worth of weapons every year.

The cancellation of the anti-tank missile contract was, in this context, not a significant setback in the long term, Mr Taneja said. Hence, there is no way India can countenance Israel's unilateral actions in the occupied territories without seriously compromising its own claims.

"Both are seen as victims of Islamist terrorism for decades", he said.

Indias Kalyani group and Israels state-run Rafael Advanced Defence Systems had commissioned a Rs 70 crore production facility near Hyderabad in August past year, anticipating that the Israeli firm would bag the contract.

In November, the defence ministry had made a decision to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

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