Spike missile deal back on the table?

India will buy Israel’s Spike anti-tank guided missiles, the Israeli media on Wednesday quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying, weeks after New Delhi scrapped the $500-million defence deal.

The deal was cancelled a few weeks ahead of Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to India and its renewal is considered a “major strategic achievement”, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“India will buy Israel’s anti-tank spike missiles,” the paper quoted Mr. Netanyahu as saying after spending the day with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.

Mr. Netanyahu said the final details and scope of the deal were still in the process of being worked out, the paper said.

Another leading Israeli daily, Haaretz , reported that the deal was “back on the table”.

Quoting Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben- Shabbat, the paper said that current talks were trending in a positive direction, and more details would be disclosed later.

The Israeli arms firm Rafael Advance Defence Systems Ltd. had earlier this month confirmed that India cancelled the deal and expressed “regret” over the decision.

The Defence Ministry has been pushing for transfer of technology in procuring various weapons and other platforms.

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