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Israeli FM meets PM Modi, discusses strengthening of strategic relations

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New Delhi: Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Tuesday met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed the strengthening of strategic relations between India and Israel.

With PM Modi, the Israeli Foreign Minister discussed expanding the Abraham Accords and also promoting a free trade agreement.

Following his meeting with the PM, Cohen tweeted. “India is a world power, the fifth largest economy and the most populous country in the world. I spoke with PM Modi about strengthening the strategic relations between the countries, expanding the Abraham Accords, and promoting a free trade agreement that will boost Israel’s economy.”

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His tweet added, “I thanked him for his warm attitude towards the State of Israel and the Jewish community in India, and we agreed to continue to strengthen the excellent ties between Israel and India.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen is on a three-day visit to India, however, he had to cut short his visit due to the security situation in Israel following Operation Shield and Arrow.

Israel Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has decided to cut short his India visit due to a security update amid action by the Israel Army against members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.

Cohen, who arrived in India on Tuesday on a three-day official visit, will now return to Israel after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I landed a short time ago in New Delhi, the capital of India, and immediately upon landing I received a security update. In light of the events in Israel, I decided to cut short the diplomatic visit to India and return to Israel after my meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that will take place today,” the Israeli Foreign Minister said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Three senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement were killed by the Israeli army in an early Tuesday morning bombing in which explosions ripped through Gaza under ‘Operation Shield and Arrow’, The Times of Israel reported.

The Israeli army began hitting targets in the Strip just after 2 am in what appeared to be a coordinated surprise attack on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement’s senior leaders.

Prior to the operation, Israeli residents of areas within 40 kilometres (25 miles) of Gaza were instructed to enter or stay near bomb shelters amid fears of retaliatory attacks, as raids continued to thunder across the Strip.

During his day-long visit, Cohen also met his Indian Counterpart S Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

In India, Cohen also led an economic delegation consisting of 36 Israeli businesspersons mainly from the fields of water management and agriculture.

He also tweeted, “Strengthening the economic ties with one of the biggest powers in the world For my visit to India, I arrived at the head of an economic delegation of dozens of businessmen and company representatives. The trade potential between Israel and India is enormous, and today we have taken significant steps that will expand cooperation on the way to a free trade agreement, and contribute to the economies of both countries.”

Both countries noted the progress in I2U2 and held wide-ranging discussions on cooperation in security, economy, technology, innovation, connectivity and health.

Foreign Minister Cohen also opened the CII India-Israel Business Forum. Three MoUs were signed during the event, marking a new era of cooperation and partnership between the business communities of both nations.

During the visit, there was a signing of the framework of the agreement between Israel and India on the facilitation of the temporary employment of Indian workers in specific labour market sectors (caregivers and construction workers) in the State of Israel.

Both countries also signed a letter of intent to establish two Centers of Water Technology in India.

A project called World on Wheels (WoW Bus) was launched by the Embassy of Israel in India in the presence of Foreign Minister Cohen. The aim of this initiative is to facilitate digital literacy, personality development, and entrepreneurship training in rural parts of India. This is one of the many projects undertaken by the embassy with local partners in India in the field of education.

(Except for the headline, the story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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