Indian PM Modi discusses ways to deepen ties with Israel's Netanyahu

India is Israel's biggest buyer of military hardware and its third-largest trade partner in Asia

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, January 15, 2018.  (REUTERS)
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu late on Wednesday and discussed ways to deepen ties between their countries.

“Spoke with PM Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed ways to strengthen the multifaceted India-Israel friendship, deepen our focus on innovation partnership, and our ongoing co-operation in defence and security,” Mr Modi tweeted.

This was the second phone call between the leaders since Mr Netanyahu returned to office in December last year for a sixth term as prime minister.

He is Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

India and Israel share “friendly” diplomatic ties and have improved strategic and bilateral ties over the decades.

India is Israel's third-largest trade partner in Asia and their bilateral trade has diversified into several sectors including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT and telecoms, diamond trade and homeland security.

The bilateral merchandise trade between the countries stood at $5.65 billion in 2018-2019.

The two countries have for years been working to deepen co-operation on defence and information technology.

India is Israel’s biggest market for military hardware and supplies, including weapon systems, missiles and defence technology. It supplied arms to India during the Kargil war with Pakistan in 1999.

There are routine exchanges between the armed forces of the two countries.

Updated: February 09, 2023, 7:22 AM