India, Israel to cooperate in fight against terrorism: Modi

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Jerusalem, July 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said India and Israel have agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and growing radicalization.

“India has suffered first hand the violence and hatred spread by terror, so has Israel,” Modi said while jointly addressing the media with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu after delegation-level talks.

“The Prime Minister and I agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to fight growing radicalization,” Modi said.

Modi, who arrived in Israel on Friday, is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Middle Eastern country. The two countries are celebrating this year the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Modi said the goal of India and Israel was to build a relationship that reflected the shared priorities and drew on the enduring bonds between people of the two countries.

“We regard thriving two-way trade and investment flows as the bedrock of a strong partnership.”

He said he and Netanyahu had productive discussions not only on bilateral cooperation but also on issues of global peace and stability.

On people-to-people ties, Modi said that while there had been an increase in the number of Israeli tourists visiting India, more and more Indian students were coming to Israel for higher studies.

Netanyahu said Modi’s visit had been “a deeply moving moment” for him personally.

He said while the Israel-India match was a match made in heaven, he and Modi had agreed to go ahead with their plans with “feet firmly planted on the ground”.

“We are being challenged by the forces of terrorism. We will cooperate in this area,” he said.

Netanyahu said he and the Indian leader discussed cooperation in many areas, including agriculture and water management.

Following Wednesday’s talks, India and Israel signed seven agreements, including three on cooperation in space technology, two on water, one on agriculture and one on setting up an India-Israel industrial R&D and technological innovation fund.

–IANS

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