NEW DELHI: India and Israel on Monday appeared well set to take their bilateral ties to newer heights in diverse sectors with a positive chemistry between the two Prime Ministers Â Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi — being all too evident during their joint press conference.
While Mr. Netanyahu, on a six-day visit to India, dubbed Mr. Modi “a revolutionary leaderÂÂ, Mr. Modi referred to Mr. Netanyahu as “my friend BibiÂÂ and admitted sharing his “impatience for resultsÂÂ with his Israeli counterpart.
ÂYou are a revolutionary leader. You have revolutionised India and catapulting this state to the future. Your visit to Israel was groundbreaking as it was the first time an Indian leader visited,Â Mr. Netanyahu said during the press conference while referring to Mr ModiÂs visit to Israel last July.
Mr. Modi said he had invited “Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalised FDI regime to make more in India.” On his part, Mr. Netanyahu did not hide his excitement about the film production agreement, saying “My wife and I are very happy that we are going to Bollywood.” He is scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal and Mumbai where Bollywood celebrities will meet him and his wife.
At the end of delegation level talks, India and Israel inked nine agreements including in sectors like cyber security, agriculture and oil and gas.
The joint statement, issued after the talks, was comprehensive in nature, flagging concerns regarding terrorism as well as Israel-Palestine peace process. Both the countries vowed to fight the challenge of terrorism together.
The two Prime Ministers addressed the India-Israel Business Summit as well as CEOs of leading companies of both the countries.
Mr. Netanyahu was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan earlier in the day. Welcoming the Israeli Prime Minister, the President Ram Nath Kovind said that his visit was a culmination of celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The President said that bilateral cooperation has expanded manifold. Political understanding, security cooperation and technology partnerships are key pillars of strategic engagement between India and Israel. He emphasised that collaboration in newer areas such as space, cyber-security and innovation will add depth to the partnership. He lauded the presence of Israeli companies in India especially in the water, defence, technology and pharma sectors.