Tel Aviv – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have signed a series of agreements on defense and technology, including a deal to buy the Israeli “Iron Dome” missile system, which is worth around $2 billion.
The deal also involves the establishment of a joint Indian-Israeli company that would build a plant to manufacture this system in India.
Israeli sources said that although the US administration and the Pentagon in particular were not looking favorably at the deal, they have so far not sought to stop it.
A statement issued at the end of Modi’s visit to Israel detailed the list of agreements and deals forged between the two countries, while it ignored the need for a political settlement in the region on the basis of the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
“The two prime ministers discussed developments pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region. They reaffirmed their support for an early-negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements,” the statement said.
Netanyahu, Modi and their respective ministers have signed seven cooperation agreements, including partnerships in economic projects in Africa and the developing world.
“We have the potential to revolutionize relations, not only between our two countries, but in the lives of millions of people. With regards to India, there are millions of people, but we are talking about what is more than this; we are talking about cooperation in Third World countries and about joint action to improve the future of African peoples,” the Israeli premier said.
The statement also stressed joint efforts to fight terrorism.
“Recognizing that terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability, the two prime ministers reiterated their strong commitment to combat it in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. The leaders asserted that strong measures should be taken against terrorists, terror organizations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups,” it stated.
Bilateral agreements signed during Modi’s visit to Israel include a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Science & Technology in India and the Israeli National Technological Innovation Authority for setting up a joint Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund; MoU between the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation of India and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of Israel on a national campaign for water conservation in India; another MoU on state water utility reform in India, as well as a plan of cooperation between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in Atomic Clocks, in addition to other agreements.