Jerusalem : Contending that India and Israel face challenges of terrorism, the two countries today agreed to intensify coordination to deal with the menace as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met top Israeli leadership and discussed a wide-range of bilateral and regional issues.
Swaraj, who is on her first visit to West Asia as the External Affairs Minister, called on President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top leaders. “It was emphasised that the region around India and around Israel are both in turmoil. That there were special circumstances posed by terrorism that required coordination between the countries, especially between India and Israel,” an official here said, sharing details of the meetings.
“It was agreed that the exchange of information (between the two countries) will continue in the future,” he added.
Swaraj said she hopes get an assessment of the situation in the region and identify areas where the two sides can cooperate.
She said, “India attaches the highest importance to the full development of bilateral ties with Israel. Our bilateral cooperation has grown in a number of areas over the past two decades but the potential of our relations are much more.”
Netanyahu, who also heads the Foreign Ministry, said that there has been a great flowering of relationship and friendship between the two countries in the recent years. “I take special pleasure in welcoming you here and sending my regards to my good friend and colleague Prime Minister Modi. The expression of this growing relationship has been in the visit of the (Indian) President, the first ever by an Indian Head of State,” he told Swaraj.
He said the two countries are intensifying their contacts and cooperation in fields such as science and technology, cyber, defence and agriculture.
“India and Israel are at the cutting edge of so many innovations and by working together we can do a lot more for our people and the world,” he said, adding that Israel admires India and view it as a great friend.
Emphasising on the importance attached to India by Israel, he said his country is putting “special effort towards building a special relationship with a special country”.
President Rivlin pushed for a boost in bilateral economic ties during his meeting with Swaraj and said the two partners should quickly finalise the Free Trade Agreement.
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