New Delhi: India and Israel on Thursday finalized a vision statement to enhance their comprehensive defense cooperation, especially in the co-production of key military equipment and joint research and development of futuristic technologies for the armed forces.
The decision to further expand the already close bilateral defense ties was taken during extensive talks between Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his visiting Israeli counterpart Benjamin Gantz.
A “letter of intent” on boosting cooperation in futuristic defense technology was also exchanged between Singh and Gantz, the defense ministry said.
Israel’s defense minister called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and met with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
“We have a great opportunity to deepen defense cooperation between our countries and build on our common values to contribute to global stability,” Gantz said in an Israeli statement quoted during his meeting with Modi.
“India is an industrial superpower and Israel is a technological superpower. Cooperation between our countries will expand both countries’ capabilities to deal with developing challenges,” the Israeli Defense Minister said.
The Ministry of Defense said the two ministers “recognized the mutual security challenges and their convergences on a number of strategic and defense issues”.
He said they expressed their commitment to work together to strengthen cooperation in all forums.
“With the intention of further strengthening the existing framework of the Indo-Israeli defense cooperation architecture, the two sides have adopted the Indo-Israeli ‘Vision on Defense Cooperation’,” the ministry said in a statement.
He said a wide range of issues regarding bilateral, regional and defense industrial cooperation were discussed at the meeting.
We learn that the Ukrainian crisis and the situation in the Gulf region also figured in the meeting.
The Israeli Embassy said, “Ministers discussed government-to-government partnerships, military training and technology cooperation with a focus on drones and defensive capabilities.”
“India and Israel share similar and common challenges, including border security and the fight against terrorism. By working together, we can increase our capabilities and ensure the security and economic interests of both countries,” Gantz said, according to the embassy.
He said the talks covered topics including global strategic challenges, military cooperation, defense industrial cooperation and joint research and development.
“They also discussed a cooperation agreement signed between India’s DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) and Israel’s Defense R&D Directorate, which will allow for the expansion of technology collaboration and of development between countries,” the embassy said.
He said the ministers had declared their intention to further develop defense cooperation in a way that exploits Israel’s technological advances and operational experience, as well as Israel’s “extraordinary development and production capabilities”. India.
“Cooperation between the countries would be in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision,” he said.
Singh described the meeting with Gantz as “warm and productive”.
“Discussed key issues relating to defense cooperation and global and regional scenarios during the bilateral meeting. We highly value our strategic partnership with Israel,” the defense minister said in a tweet.
“Glad that the two countries have adopted a ‘Vision Statement’ that will pave the way for future defense cooperation. There is a broad consensus between the two countries on strengthening bilateral strategic and defense cooperation,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Gantz visited the National War Memorial and paid tribute to fallen heroes by laying a wreath.
He received a ceremonial honor guard ahead of his talks with Singh.
India has been a major buyer of Israeli military hardware. Israel has supplied various weapon systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles to India in recent years, but the transactions have remained largely hidden.
India has purchased a number of arms and ammunition, including Spike anti-tank guided missiles, from Israel over the past two years.
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