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India-Israel Relationship: Everything You Need to Know

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ visit to Israel comes at a time when the country has become one of India’s key weapons suppliers after Russia and the US. India can learn counter-terrorism strategies from Israel and it can give a boost to agricultural, water technologies and start-ups.

News18.com

Updated:July 4, 2017, 12:19 PM IST
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India-Israel Relationship: Everything You Need to Know
File photo of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Representative image: Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ visit to Israel comes at a time when the country has become one of India’s key weapons suppliers after Russia and the US. India can learn counter-terrorism strategies from Israel and it can give a boost to agricultural, water technologies and start-ups.

Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between the two countries:

September 18, 1950: India recognised Israel

1956: Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett visits in the middle of the Suez crisis

1968: Visit by Ruth Dayan, wife of Defence Minister Moshe Dayan

1977: Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan visits India

1992: Diplomatic ties between India and Israel were formally established by the Narasimha Rao government

February 1992: Israel opened its embassy in New Delhi

May 1992: India opened its embassy in Tel Aviv

In 1996: India acquired from Israel, 32 IAI Searcher unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs

December 1997: Israeli President Ezer Weizman led a 24-member business delegation to India. Weizman was the first Israeli head of state to visit India. He finalised a weapons deal involving the purchase of the Barak-1 vertically-launched surface-to-air missiles

2000: Jaswant Singh became the first Indian foreign minister to visit Israel. India and Israel set up a joint anti-terror commission

2003: Ariel Sharon became the first Israeli PM to visit India

November 2016: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited India for six days

How has Israel helped India through the years?

India reportedly purchased arms and ammunition from Israel both after the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the India-Pakistan Wars of 1965 and 1971. Israel was ready to sell the weapons to India amid embargoes in the UK, the US and France. India’s security agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Israel's spy agency Mossad have been tacitly collaborating since the 1960s.

India acquired drones, electronic support measure sensors, air combat manoeuvring instrumentation simulator system. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has worked on several large contracts with the Indian Air Force, including upgrading MiG-21 ground attack aircraft.

Trade has diversified into several sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT and telecom, and homeland security in recent years. The greatest success has been in the diamond industry which accounts for 50% of India-Israel non-defence trade. The bilateral trade between the two countries is pegged at around $4.5 billion.
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