In last week’s interview with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his visit to Israel, the leader of the second largest country on Earth explained his reasons for a newly re-kindled relationship with Israel speaking to Israel’s technological advancements and shared values.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke exclusively with Channel 2 News prior to his visit to Israel last week on his vision for India in the coming years as well as the newly re-kindled relationship with Israel.

“The whole world knows that the 21st century is Asia’s century and when the world says its Asia’s century, they naturally think of India,” Modi stated on his country’s potential in leading the world. “India has democratic values, a vibrant judicial system, 800 million youths.”

When asked regarding Israel’s place in his vision of “new India,” Modi replied: “Look, Israel and India have a lot in common, we share democratic values and our relations have existed for hundreds of years.”

Modi went on to commend Israel for its quick progress and stated that Israel’s success and development despite its harsh environment is what makes the world look on in admiration.

“The second you say ‘Israel’ you think innovation, technology, startups, space, agriculture, recycle, reuse. An efficient use of limited resources is Israel’s greatest symbol. All of these elements reflect India. I think India also has youths, innovation, startups, information technologies,” Modi explained. “All of these things lead us to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, to expand our horizons together.”

Modi described Israel’s technological advancements as a drive to solve its country’s problems. “Israel-initiated technological advancements have affected the average person’s life…Without innovation life stops, and Israel is always innovating.” Furthermore, Modi discussed a current collaboration between India and Israel in space technology where in this past year an Israeli satellite was launched from India, out of 104 satellites launched, in total.

“With your potential and ours, the skies the limit,” Modi explained. “We want to advance technology that will create a change in day-to-day life”

On the difference in the two countries’ sizes, Modi said, “Geographical size is not what dictates a country’s size. Our closeness is not geographic, but in our values. We shouldn’t look at Israel and India in geographic terms, but rather in terms of our destination. We should look to our path and focus on that. We should look at our values.”

On India’s position at the UN in regards to Israel, Modi spoke diplomatically and stated that India takes its position at the UN seriously and doesn’t support the isolation of any one state.