- Recently, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister visited India and held bilateral Meetings and agreed to deepen defence ties.
- The two Ministers presented a joint declaration marking 30 years of Israel-India relations.
- The declaration reiterated the commitment of both the countries to deepen defence ties.
- Both sides adopted the India-Israel Vision on Defense Cooperation to further strengthen the existing framework of the Indo-Israeli defense cooperation architecture.
- A Letter of Intent on enhancing cooperation in the field of futuristic defence technologies was exchanged.
- Bilateral Cooperation will be in line with Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India vision.
- Both countries reviewed the existing military-to-military activities which have increased despite the challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic.
- They discussed ways to increase cooperation in all domains with a focus on Research & Development in future technologies and defence co-production.
- Both the Ministers acknowledged mutual security challenges and their convergences on a number of strategic and defence issues.
- They expressed commitment to work together to enhance cooperation in all forums.
- Though India officially recognised Israel in 1950, the two countries established full diplomatic ties only on 29th January 1992. As of December 2020, India was among 164 United Nations (UN) member states to have diplomatic ties with Israel.
- From USD 200 million in 1992, bilateral merchandise trade stood at USD 4.14 billion (excluding defence) during the period April 2020 – February 2021 with the balance of trade being in India’s favour.
- Trade in diamonds constitutes about 50% of bilateral trade..
- India is Israel’s third-largest trade partner in Asia and seventh largest globally.
- Israeli companies have invested in India in energy, renewable energy, telecom, real estate, water technologies, and are focusing on setting up R&D centers or production units in India.
- India is also in dialogue with Israel for concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
- India is the largest buyer of military equipment from Israel, which, in turn, is the second-largest defence supplier to India, after Russia.
- The Indian armed forces have inducted a wide array of Israeli weapon systems over the years, which range from Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control Systems) and Heron, Searcher-II and Harop drones to Barak anti-missile defence systems and Spyder quick-reaction anti-aircraft missile systems.
- The acquisitions also include a host of Israeli missiles and precision-guided munitions, from Python and Derby air-to-air missiles to Crystal Maze and Spice-2000 bombs.
- The ties between the two nations have flourished since 1992, primarily due to common strategic interests and security threats.
- Indians are sympathetic towards Israel and the government is balancing and recalibrating its West Asia policy on the premise of its own national interest.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT