Monday, 16 July, 2018

Israel ties much stronger than one United Nations vote: Envoy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon at a special cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem Israel ties much stronger than one United Nations vote: Envoy
Melinda Barton | 12 January, 2018, 18:35

While the Israelis were upset as the withdrawal of RFP came nearly on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to New Delhi on January 14, South Block officials said they have no objections to the Indian Army purchasing the long range (not line of sight) ATGM from Israel through the G to G route.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the Jewish state in July past year, becoming the first Indian premier to do so.

According to the Indian Express news outlet, the decision to cancel the Spike deal was made in order to protect Delhi's Defense Research and Development Organization, which is working on creating its own anti-tank guided missile. Despite the cancellation of the missile deal, India's Defense Ministry said this month it had cleared a plan worth $72 million to buy 131 Barak surface-to-air missiles built by Rafael. As well as New Delhi, they will also visit India's financial capital Mumbai and Modi's home-state of Gujarat. "That is why we are two countries, two members of the United Nations".

Touching upon the trade and business aspects of Netanyahu's visit, Carmon said a 130-strong delegation of businessmen involved in technologies related to agriculture, water, cyber, defence industries, food processing, will accompany the Israeli leader. On that trip Modi did not travel to the West Bank to meet Palestinian leaders, as visiting leaders usually do.

Not disheartened by Indias vote against Israel at the UN General Assembly on the issue of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed hope that bilateral ties would receive a further boost during his milestone visit to the country.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon also downplayed India's stand at the United Nations General Assembly over the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in place of Tel Aviv, saying New Delhi's view "cannot influence" Indo-Israel ties.

"Vote at United Nations is important, but it will not mar the big picture of the India-Israel relationship", Carmon said on India's vote in United Nations on draft resolution on the status of Jerusalem.