India, Israel sign seven agreements, vow to fight against terrorism jointly

TEL AVIV: India and Israel on Wednesday signed seven agreements, including three on space cooperation, following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

A Plan of Cooperation was signed between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in atomic clocks.

Both ISRO and ISA signed a MoU on cooperation in GEO-LEO Optical Link. ISRO and ISA signed another MoU on cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.

An MoU was signed between the Department of Science and Technology, India, and the National Technological Innovation Authority, Israel, for setting up an India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).

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India's Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation signed an MoU with Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources on a national campaign for water conservation in India.

An MoU on state water utility reform was signed between the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of Israel.

The two sides also signed the India-Israel Development Cooperation on a three-year work programme in agriculture from 2018 to 2020.

India and Israel elevated their ties to the "strategic partnership" level with a vow to do "much more together" to combat growing radicalisation and terrorism and pitched for "strong measures" against those financing and providing sanctuaries to terror groups.

The issue of terror and "strategic threats" along with various other topics like cooperation in defence and security, water, agriculture, space and West Asia figured prominently in the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Our goal is to build a relationship that reflects our shared priorities and draws on enduring bonds between our peoples," Modi, who is the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, said in a joint media appearance with Netanyahu.

Modi, on the second day of his three-day visit, said India and Israel live in "complex geographies" and are aware of "strategic threats" to regional peace and stability.

"India has suffered first-hand the violence and hatred spread by terror. So has Israel," he said, adding the two leaders had "agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to combat growing radicalization and terrorism, including in cyber space."

Netanyahu said the two countries need to cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism as he described 26/11 as a "horrible terrorist attack".

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, while briefing the media on the talks later, said that the two countries had decided to elevate their relationship to the strategic partnership, which gives a special dimension to the ties.

A joint statement issued after the talks said "strong measures should be taken against terrorists, terror organisations, their networks and all those who encourage, , support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctury to terrorists and terror groups."

Though nobody was named in this context, the Indian side saw this as a reference to Pakistan.


First Published: 05 Jul 2017 07:40 PM

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