India, Israel to intensify defence, anti-terror cooperation

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New Delhi, November 15

In a reflection of their growing proximity, India and Israel on Tuesday decided to further “broad-base” their already close defence partnership and intensify cooperation in combating radicalisation and extremism and called upon global community to act tough against terror networks and States harbouring them.

The two countries agreed to deepen their cooperation in a variety of areas, including trade and investment, agriculture, water resources and cyber crime, during extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israel President Reuven Rivlin, who is on his first visit to India.

The two sides inked two pacts to strengthen cooperation in agricuture and water resources management.

Giving a gist of his talks with the Israeli leader, Mr. Modi, in a media statement, said people of both countries were constantly threatened by forces of terrorism and extremism and both sides agreed to intensify cooperation in combating them effectively, particularly having “practical and specific” engagement such as in the cyber domain.

“We recognise that terrorism is a global challenge, knows no boundaries and has extensive links with other forms of organized crime,” he said.

In an obvious reference to Pakistan, the Prime Minister said, “Regrettably, one of the countries of its origin and spread is in India’s neighbourhood.”

He said, “We agreed that the international community must act with resolve and determination against terror networks and States that harbour them. Failure to act and silence of speech only encourages the terrorists.”

Modi noted that Mr. Rivlin’s visit had given a “crucial push” to efforts to build new pillars in bilateral ties. Both sides noted the strength of the growing defence partnership and agreed on need to make it “more broad-based” through production and manufacturing partnerships.

Referring to growing collaboration between the two countries, particularly in the defence sector, Mr. Rivlin, the first Israel President to visit India in two decades, said his country is ready to “make in India and make with India“.

He also asserted that nothing can justify terrorism. “We stand together in defending our people and our values,” he said.

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