Govt examining G-to-G deal to buy Spike missile from Israel

On arrival both the leaders Modi and Netanyahu are expected to reach Sabarmati Ashram in a 8-km-long roadshow from Ahmedabad airport similar to one held by Prime Minister Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in September last year. Reuters fil

Events since then seemed as if they might rock the relationship somewhat.

USA anxiety over technological theft has forced Israeli manufacturers to stop selling to the Chinese, making India its largest arms importer.

India last month voted for a resolution at the UN General Assembly opposing US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Sometimes it is India that comes to Israel with a request and sometimes Israel comes to India with a request".

"The Prime Minister's visit to India is the grand finale to the celebrations 25 years of growing partnership between India and Israel".

Describing the backdrop of votes at the United Nations as "dynamic" and the United Nations itself as "a vibrant theatre where many things are happening", Carmon said "If the question is, will it influence the relationship, I don't think it can influence the relationship".

Technology and innovation are high on the agenda during Netanyahu's upcoming visit as well. "So the optics are strong from the get-go". The following day he will call on President Ram Nath Kovind then have more talks with PM Modi.

One of Mr Netanyahu's stops on the trip, the first by an Israeli premier since Ariel Sharon in 2003, will be in Mumbai where he will meet on January 18 with stars and executives of India's mammoth film industry.

Nonmilitary trade between the two countries reached $4.2b.in 2016, and Netanyahu's visit to India will focus on how to substantially increase that number. Israel is a major seller of weaponry to India, about $1 billion annually.

The Hindustan Times said the purchase would be conducted via the "government to government route", as the Indian Army is keen on acquiring the missile from Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense System and the country's Defense Research and Development Organization has no objection to the deal. "The relationship is much stronger than the one vote here and there", Carmon had said but had maintained that it was "not a happy" situation when members of the global community did not vote in favour on the issue at the UN. "Both Netanyahu and Modi have common political and ideological backgrounds, with nationalism leading the narratives from a Hindu point of view for Modi and Zionist point of view for Netanyahu".

Indian commitment to Palestinian aspirations is not only principled, it is also linked with India's core interests in that a large chunk of Indian territory in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is under illegal Pakistani occupation. Not surprisingly, during his visit, Modi enthusiastically coined the term, "I4I", standing for "India for Israel and Israel for India", while Netanyahu spoke of: "I squared, T squared", standing for, "India-Israel Ties for Tomorrow".

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