Air Force chief on ‘goodwill visit’ to Israel

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha is on a four-day ‘goodwill visit’ to Israel, an official statement said on Sunday.

The visit of Air Chief Marshal Raha, who is also the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, is aimed at consolidating the existing robust bilateral military to military cooperation between India and Israel, it said.

During his visit to Israel, he is scheduled to call on Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israeli Defence Force Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Israeli Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, and the defence ministry’s Directorate for Research and Development (MAFAT) chief Ophir Shoham, it said, adding the meetings will focus on a wide range of issues pertaining to the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries.

Raha would also visit the Israeli Air Force’s Flight School, at Hatzerim air base. He would also be updated on the progress of various defence projects being carried forward as joint ventures between the two countries.A

The itinerary also includes a visit to ‘Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and to the ‘Memorial of Indian Soldiers’ built in commemoration of sacrifice of the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during World War I in the liberation of Haifa.

“In recent years, there have been several close and high level contacts at the political and military levels between the two countries. Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha’s visit to Israel would further boost bilateral relations between two Air Forces and is likely to provide greater convergence at the operational level,” the statement said.

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