According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the major Israeli-Indian arms deal that was reportedly scrapped months ago is back on the table. Netanyahu revealed that the Indian Defense Ministry and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems are discussing the possibility of reapproving the deal.
Netanyahu and Modi Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confirmed that the Indian Defense Ministry’s deal with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is still relevant. The agreement worth an estimated $500 million was reportedly scrapped by India months ago. Nevertheless, a few days after Rafael confirmed the reports about the cancelation, Indian media outlets reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is debating whether to go through with the deal.
However, Netanyahu put a rest to the conflicting reports on Wednesday when he said that the deal is back on the table. According to the Israeli prime minister, who is currently in India on a trip marking 25 years of Indian-Israeli diplomatic relations, the sides are engaged in talks to reapprove the deal.
Earlier today, Netanyahu and Modi visited iCreate, a center for entrepreneurship and technology in Ahmedabad. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu watched as young Indian entrepreneurs presented innovate projects as part of a special exhibition in his honor.
PM @netanyahu trying his hand at kite flying. Like a kite soaring high, India-Israel friendship is scaling new heights and will benefit not only our citizens but also the entire humankind. pic.twitter.com/gOLRsjMGpE
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 17, 2018
During a speech at the center, Netanyahu spoke about the Israel-India cooperation in various fields. “Today, the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel, a historic visit, and my visit to India mark a new era of Israel-India cooperation,” he said. “One of the areas we’re most excited about is cooperation in technology and innovation. Prime Minister Modi is right when he says technology is central to development.”
“Today, I have a simple message: I want young Indians to know that Israel wants to form partnerships with you in technology, in water, in agriculture, in cyber, in drones, in health, in life sciences, in every field we are your partners,” he added. “I want young Israelis to come to India not just with a backpack but with a laptop.”