New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday encouraged Israeli defence companies to benefit from the opportunities of co-development and co-production in India.

The visiting Israeli Defence Minister Benjamin Gantz, who is on an official visit to India, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening.

The leaders reviewed the rapid growth in defence cooperation between India and Israel over the past few years, the PMO said.

"Was pleased to meet Deputy PM and Defence Minister of Israel H.E. Benjamin Gantz. As we mark 30 years of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel, our defence cooperation is expanding and diversifying to include joint research, development and production," the Prime Minister said in a tweet.

Earlier, the defence ministers of the two countries held bilateral talks and adopted the India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation with the intention to further strengthen the existing framework of the Indo-Israeli defence cooperation architecture.

The two countries exchanged a Letter of Intent on enhancing cooperation in the field of Futuristic Defence Technologies.

"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 and regional scenarios during the bilateral meeting. We place great value on our Strategic Partnership with Israel," Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

"Glad that both the countries adopted a ‘Vison 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," Rajnath Singh added.

A wide range of issues concerning bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation were discussed during the meeting, the Defence Ministry said.

The two Ministers reviewed the existing military-to-military activities which have increased despite the challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic.

They discussed ways to increase cooperation in all domains with a focus on Research and Development in future technologies and defence co-production, the Ministry added.

Both the Ministers acknowledged mutual security challenges and their convergences on a number of strategic and defence issues.

They expressed commitment to work together to enhance cooperation in all forums.

"We talked among other things, darling with terrorism, cyber and border protection. I am confident that deepening cooperation will contribute to establishing the security, political and economic interest of the two countries," Benny Gantz said in a tweet.

The head of the Israeli Defence Ministry's weapons exports department Yair Kulas, Defence Ministry's Political-Military Bureau head Dror Shalom and Gantz’s military secretary Yaki Dolef are also with the visiting Israeli Defence Minister.

Before the bilateral meeting the Defence Minister of Israel visited the National War Memorial and paid homage to the fallen heroes by laying wreath at the monument.

He was accorded a Ceremonial Guard of Honour before his bilateral meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. It was the first visit of Israeli Defence Minister to India with an aim to strengthen the defence ties between the two countries.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of the official diplomatic ties between India and Israel. Full diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992.

Gantz’s India visit was initially planned to take place in late March, but it was postponed amid a series of deadly terror attacks in Israel.

Israel has sought to strengthen defence relations with India in recent years particularly in air and missile defence areas.

India has purchased billions of dollars worth of weapon systems in recent years.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also scheduled a trip to India in March, but postponed it after contracting Covid-19. The new date is yet to be decided.

Defence, economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries continued to grow in recent years with Prime Minister Narendra Modi becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in 2017.