India and Israel have agreed to strengthen their defence partnership and make it more broad-based through production and manufacturing partnerships. The two countries also vowed to intensify their cooperation in combating forces of extremism and radicalisation that threaten all peace-loving nations.
During talks between visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two countries also agreed to prioritise practical and specific engagement in the cyber domain, besides expanding cooperation in agriculture and in other areas of mutual interest.
''We noted the strength of our growing defence partnership. And, agreed on the need to make it more broad-based through production and manufacturing partnerships,'' Prime Minister Modi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described India-Israel engagement as multi-dimensional and wide-ranging. ''We are partnering in: enhancing agricultural productivity and efficiency; boosting research and innovation linkages; employing applications of science and technology for the benefit of our societies; forging strong trade links and investment ties; building defence ties to secure our people; and enhancing people to people ties through greater cultural and tourism linkages.
The growing number of Indian students, going to study in Israel and vice versa can be an important bridge in our bilateral partnership, the prime minister added.
Rivlin will address think-tanks and sign agreements on education in the capital today. He will also visit Karnal and Chandigarh. Next week, he will hold business meetings.
During talks, both Prime Minister Modi and President Rivlin agreed that there are several strong areas of ongoing cooperation between the two countries. ''We are familiar with Israel's advances in agriculture, and its expertise in micro-irrigation in drought-prone areas and water management. We have identified water management and conservation, and collaboration in scientific research and development as two areas of priority engagement.
''We both agreed that the current trajectory of the Indian economy opens up many promising opportunities for Israeli companies. Our economic initiatives and programmes, and emphasis on innovation, research and technological development match well with Israel's strengths and capacities. Israeli companies can scale up their tie-ups with our flagship schemes of Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, and Smart Cities. I would encourage the private sector stakeholders on both sides to take lead in utilizing this perfect opportunity to build business ties of commerce and investment between our two countries in these areas. Indian and Israeli companies can also work together in high-technology manufacturing, and services sectors.
''Make in India and as President Rivlin told me in our discussion, Make with India can generate jobs and benefit both geographies. Our partnership can generate jobs and benefit both geographies. IT services is an area where our partnership can make a difference for both our economies.
The two leaders emphasised the need for a strong and growing partnership to secure peoples and countries constantly threatened by forces of terrorism and extremism. ''We recognize that terrorism is a global challenge, knows no boundaries and has extensive links with other forms of organised crime.''
Modi regretted Pakistan's role in the growth and spread terrorism and its networks in the region and across the globe and said the international community must act with resolve and determination against terror networks and states that harbour them, adding that any failure to act and silence of speech only encourages the terrorists.
''We agreed to intensify our cooperation to combat the forces of extremism and radicalisation that threaten all peace-loving nations. We also prioritised practical and specific engagement such as in the cyber domain.
''We noted the strength of our growing defence partnership. And, agreed on the need to make it more broad-based through production and manufacturing partnerships,'' he said
He said India is also grateful to Israel for its clear support to India's permanent candidature in a reformed UN Security Council.