"India and Israel share common challenges of border protection and the war on terror and together we can strengthen the security and economic interests of the two countries," Defence Minister of Israel Benny Gantz said in New Delhi

On Thursday, Defence Minister of Israel Benny Gantz arrived in India to participate in bilateral talks to discuss defence cooperation in New Delhi. In the meeting between Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh with Benny Gantz, a “vision statement” was adopted by the two countries which will accelerate defence cooperation between the countries in future.

Israeli Defence Minister is on a two-day visit to India to mark the 30 years of diplomatic ties between India and Israel. He was received by Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and was presented the Tri-Service Guard of Honour. Playing wreath at National War Memorial, he paid tributes to the martyred soldiers. “This is a symbolic tribute as we prepare to mark 30 years of flourishing relations and defence ties between our countries,” Gantz tweeted.

Further, Rajnath Singh and Benny Gantz held a bilateral talk to discuss the future of defence cooperation between the two countries. During the meeting, Gantz asserted, “India and Israel share common challenges of border protection and the war on terror and together we can strengthen the security and economic interests of the two countries.”

During the meeting, the two discussed issues relating to cross-border terrorism, defence cooperation pertaining to global and regional scenarios, military and industrial cooperation and joint work regarding research, production and development of new weaponry. Talking about the meeting, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh wrote on Twitter, “Warm and productive meeting with the Defence Minister of Israel, Mr Benjamin Gantz in New Delhi. Discussed key issues pertaining to defence cooperation and global & regional scenarios during the bilateral meeting. We place great value on our Strategic Partnership with Israel.”

Singh further added that both the countries have adopted a ‘vision statement’ which will pave the way for defence cooperation in future. “There is a broad consensus between both the countries on further strengthening the bilateral strategic and defence cooperation,” he opined.

During his visit, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz is also about to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His official visit which was supposed to take place between March 30-31 was postponed to Thursday as Gantz had to face political turmoil from the opposition back home. According to local media sources in Israel, the bilateral meeting between India and Israel was held to boost partnership in the fields of air and missile defence.

Gantz’s visit to India has come at a time when the two countries are celebrating 30 years of full diplomatic ties. The two nations have inched close to each other since 2014 when PM Narendra Modi came to power and saw Israel as a strategic ally in the Middle East.

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett’s scheduled visit to India in April was postponed after he caught Covid-19. Earlier, Indian Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishanakar paid an official visit to Israel to sign the instrument of ratification of the International Solar Alliance in October 21. The heads of the two States have met during the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow on 2 November 2021.