Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi a revolutionary who is changing India and catapulting it to the future. The two prime ministers issued a joint statement after holding bilateral talks at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
The two countries signed nine memorandums of understanding, including those on film cooperation, homeopathy alternative medicine, cyber co-operation, and science and technology, ANI reported.
The Israeli prime minister said an ancient past, a vibrant present and a positive future link the two countries. Both India and Israel “know the pain of terror,” but they fight back and “never give in”, Netanyahu added.
“Jews in India have never witnessed antisemitism like in some other countries, this is a tribute to India’s great civilization, tolerance and democracy,” he said. He added that he was “deeply moved” by the ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday morning.
Modi welcomed Netanyahu and said that his visit marked a special beginning to the new year. Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit India in 15 years. Modi said that the two leaders have reviewed the progress in the relationship between India and Israel, and are set to “scale up” their partnership.
“We will strengthen existing pillars of cooperation in areas that touch the lives of our people,” he said. “In defence, I have invited Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalised FDI regime to make more in India with our companies.”
The two prime ministers said it was important to set the direction to develop business models and partnerships, transfer of technology and joint research and development in the field of defence.
Netanyahu arrived in India on Sunday for a six-day visit. Apart from Delhi, the Israeli prime minister will visit Agra, Gujarat and Mumbai during his stay in India.
Earlier in the day, he said the visit to India has been “deeply moving” for him and his wife, and that it was the dawn of a new era in the friendship of Tel Aviv and India. On Sunday, Netanyahu had dubbed the India-Israel relationship as a “marriage made in heaven”.
He added that Israel was disappointed by India’s vote at the United Nations against the United States’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. However, the bilateral relationship is moving forward, he had said.
Netanyahu will address India-Israel Business Summit (Including Bridge of Innovation) organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Delhi later on Monday.