His Excellency Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (January 15, 2018).

Welcoming the Israeli Prime Minister, the President said that his visit to India is a culmination of celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel. Our warm and friendly ties are growing stronger. In a little over two years, the two countries have exchanged Presidential and Prime Ministerial visits.

The President said that our bilateral cooperation has expanded manifold. Political understanding, security cooperation and technology partnerships are key pillars of strategic engagement between India and Israel. He emphasised that collaboration in newer areas such as space, cybersecurity and innovation will add depth to our partnership.

The President said that opportunities lay before the two countries in the fields of investment, manufacturing, services, start-ups and technology. He appreciated the presence of Israeli companies in India especially in the water, defence, technology and pharma sectors. He urged them to partner India in its programmes such as Make in India, Clean India, Smart Cities and Digital India.

The President said that the India-Israel security cooperation is defined by our common fight against terrorism. This challenge is eating into the vitals of our society. Our counterterrorism cooperation is progressing well but we need to do more. We need to work together to develop a strong global response to defeat terrorism in all its manifestations.

The President said that India appreciates Israel’s cooperation in the field of agriculture. Israel has taught India to do more with less. Israel’s support has served our farmers exceedingly well, especially in water deficient areas. As we work to make our farming choices more sustainable, we will seek more Israeli support.

A prominent example of India-Israel cooperation in agriculture was evident during today’s call-on. The olive tea that was served to the Israeli Prime Minister at Rashtrapati Bhavan was produced in Bikaner by Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Ltd, a joint venture between the Government of Rajasthan and Israeli partners.

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