Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife will depart for an official visit to India on Saturday to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries and half a year after the visit of Indian Prime Minister Nerandra Moody. He reminded that his country was among few which had cosponsored and helped Indian nominee Justice Dalveer Bhandari to get elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). More significantly, earlier this month India voted for the United Nations resolution that criticised USA president Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
"The vote at United Nations is important, but it will not mar the big picture of the India-Israel relationship. We want to take it to a higher level", Bhaskar had said. The prime minister went on to say, "I don't think the vote materially changes the recent flowering of relations between Israel and India, and everybody can see that".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reaching New Delhi for Sunday on a six-day trip.
The high-value orders include a $1.6-billion deal to buy Barak 8 air defence systems sealed past year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel.
During the annual press conference with foreign press, Netanyahu said, "The Palestinian president [Mahmoud Abbas] is the one who is obstructing the peace process, as he is refusing to return to the negotiation table". Now, it is learnt that the government is considering buying the missiles through G- to-G route, as per PTI.
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To try and drive home the point that it did not wish to be a mere buyer but wanted to attract manufacturing investments, India first cancelled and then said a $500-million deal to buy 8,000 Israeli Spike anti-tank missiles could be revived.
PM Modi would be accompanying Netanyahu to Gujarat on Wednesday where he will be welcomed with a roadshow in Ahmadabad. Prime Minister Modi's visit was a very important milestone in that. Ambassador said the strong bond between the two leaders was driving the current Indo-Israeli ties.
On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a power Breakfast with Indian CEOs and attend a business seminar. The government is pulling strings to ensure presence of top producers and directors of Bollywood.
Indias Kalyani group and Israels state-run Rafael Advanced Defence Systems had commissioned a Rs 70 crore production facility near Hyderabad in August previous year, anticipating that the Israeli firm would bag the contract. Sources said Netanyahu will appeal to Bollywood to come and shoot films in Israel, and offer tax breaks and facilitation.