Jerusalem: India has called for scaling up counter-terror and economic cooperation with Israel, which has emerged as its second largest supplier of sophisticated military weapons.
“My visit primarily would be focusing on the economic content, security, terror – these are some of the issues which are commonly faced both by Israel as well as India,” external affairs minister SM Krishna said with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.
“We will have to work out a strategy as to how we address ourselves to the scourge of international terrorism which has become the curse for the entire humanity,” said Krishna.
“I think our efforts should be to checkmate and ultimately eradicate terrorists from the face of the earth,” he added.
Since the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, in which six Israeli nationals were also killed, counter-terror cooperation between India and Israel has intensified.
Krishna on Monday began a two-day visit to Israel, the first by an Indian foreign minister to that country in the last 11 years.
Krishna stressed that he was visiting Israel to chart out a road map for the next two decades of bilateral cooperation. “We have learned so much from Israel, particularly in the field of agriculture and science and technology innovation,” he said.
“And India is naturally an ally of Israel in all these frontiers of science and I look forward to an increased economic content to our existing political relationship,” Krishna said.
Netanyahu struck an upbeat note on the trajectory of India’s relations with Israel which have been blossoming since the two countries established diplomatic ties two decades ago.
“India and Israel are two ancient peoples seizing the future: in technology, in innovation, in enterprise, and I think we can seize it even better by our cooperation,” said Netanyahu.
“So I look forward to discuss with you all these areas of cooperation between us, including the signing in the near future of a free trade agreement to multiply our trade and to increase the cooperation economically between India and Israel,” he said.