New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday said that a common strategy of India and Israel will give a new direction to the world in the fight against terrorism.

Lok Sabha Speaker made the above remarks during his meeting with an Israeli Parliamentary Delegation led by Amir Ohana, Speaker of Knesset (Parliament) of the State of Israel.

The Israeli Parliamentary Delegation called on Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at Parliament House on Friday. At the outset, Birla welcomed the delegation to India and said that Israel and India have traditionally enjoyed close and friendly relations. Birla underscored that India and Israel share a robust democratic heritage and as fellow democracies, both countries have many similarities, which include respecting diverse cultures, following democratic values, and working as per the hopes and aspirations of the people. He also observed that in the changing global dynamics, the relations between India and Israel have become more important.

Cautioning about the growing scourge of terrorism, Birla said that terrorism is an area of common concern for India and Israel. Democratic countries like India and Israel should deepen cooperation in the fight against terrorism. He emphasized that the common strategy of India and Israel will give a new direction to the world in the fight against terrorism.

Referring to the Jews community in India, Birla said that India has always supported and provided a safe ecosystem to the Jews. The Jews have significantly contributed to the development of India.

Mentioning the strong parliamentary relations between the two Parliaments, Lok Sabha Speaker expressed happiness at the formation of a Parliamentary Friendship Group for India in the Knesset. Birla emphasized that both Parliaments should work together at international fora and accordingly prepare an action plan based on collective discussion and dialogue. He further suggested that both Parliaments must share experiences, best practices and technology to deal with global challenges and to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes across a range of situations.

Speaking about regular high-level visits between the two countries over the years, Birla said that such visits have added new energy to bilateral relations. India-Israel relations have undergone fundamental and qualitative changes since the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in 2017 and subsequently, the visit of Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu to India in 2018.

In the context of the technological dominance of India and Israel in different scientific fields, Birla said that Israel is a world leader in agri-technology. He mentioned that people from around the world seek to emulate the technological progress that Israel has made. Birla said through mutual collaboration both nations can learn from each other and reap the benefits of technological progress.

Speaking about the popularity of India as a tourist destination for the Israeli youth, Birla called for more travel and tourism between the two nations and encouraged more and more people from Israel to visit India. Birla said that India attaches the highest importance to its bilateral relations with Israel and that both countries are natural allies and friends. He observed that at a time of immense global change, the importance of India-Israel relations has increased further. He expressed confidence that the India-Israel friendship will continue to set new records of mutual cooperation in the coming decades.

Speaking on this occasion, Amir Ohana said that both India and Israel are old civilizations and the relationship between the countries has been strengthened over the period of time. Mentioning India's progress, he said that India is rising miraculously in all sectors. Amir Ohana expressed hope that the bilateral relations between India and Israel will be further strengthened and collectively both will deal with the global challenges.

The delegation paid homage to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi by laying a floral wreath at Raj Ghat.

Notably, the Israeli Parliamentary Delegation, which is on an India visit till April 4, was jointly invited by the Vice President and Chairperson of Rajya Sabha and the Speaker of Lok Sabha.

This is the first visit of Amir Ohana, Speaker of the Knesset (Parliament) of the State of Israel to any country after assuming the Office of the Speaker.