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January 18, 2016 12:43 pm

Indian Foreign Minister in Israel to ‘Strengthen Bilateral Relationship’

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Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. Photo: Wikipedia

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. Photo: Wikipedia

Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday she hoped to discuss the entire spectrum of the bilateral relationship between Israel and India, and seek new areas where the countries can cooperate, The Statesman reported.

Swaraj, who was speaking from Jerusalem, stressed the importance of Israeli-Indian ties and said the “potential of our relations are much much more.”

“India attaches the highest importance to the full development of bilateral ties with Israel,” she said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, said the two countries were already intensifying cooperation in fields such as science and technology, cyber, defense and agriculture.

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“India and Israel are at the cutting edge of so many innovations and by working together we can do a lot more for our people and the world,” he said, according to The Statesman. 

Swaraj was also scheduled to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee visited Israel last October, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom Netanyahu called his “good friend and colleague,” was expected to visit Israel in 2016.

The Hindu reported that Swaraj’s trip was meant to “lay ground” for Modi’s eventual visit.

During her three-day trip to the region, called “West Asia” in the Indian press, Swaraj also visited Ramallah, where she called for “closer political interaction and deeper economic engagement with Palestine.”

“We are also looking at ways and means to further increase academic collaboration between India and Palestine,” she said.

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