Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the India-Israel partnership a force for “good against bad”, after talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Wednesday, said they had tasked special committees to implement the seven agreements between them by January 1 next year, and accepted Mr. Modi’s invitation to visit India.
The agreements cover the fields of water, agriculture, space, including a $40-million joint fund for research and development in innovation.
The “historic first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister” has solidified the enduring friendship, the joint statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs later said.
“We discussed so many fields where we think we can make a big difference, in water and agriculture, fields that affect the lives of our people,” Mr. Netanyahu added.
The two agreements in the field of water deal with the “increasing awareness” of the need for water conservation, as well as an MoU between the Israeli Water Ministry and the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam Board. Three MoUs on space cooperation included one for Electric Propulsion for Small Satellites, and for the development of an optical link as well as cooperation on atomic clocks. The fund for research and development, called the “I4F” or India Israel Industrial Innovation Fund, will see both governments contribute $20 million to help research scholars manufacture their inventions easily.
At a meeting earlier with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Mr. Modi also coined the term “I4I” or “India for Israel”, as a response to Mr. Netanyahu’s formula of “Indian talent and Israeli technology equals India-Israel ties for tomorrow.”
“From ‘Start-up India’ to ‘Make in India’, Israeli technology fits into all of India’s processes for growth,” said Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar speaking about the significance of the statements. The two sides also agreed to increase air linkages between the two countries, with Air India expected to commence flights to Tel Aviv.