Israeli Defence Minister Benjamin Gantz undertakes maiden visit to India with an aim to strengthen defence ties between the two countries

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with visiting Israeli Defence Minister Benjamin Gantz in New Delhi and discussed a wide range of issues concerning bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation.

According to a Ministry of Defence statement, the two Ministers reviewed the existing military-to-military activities which have increased despite the challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“They discussed ways to increase cooperation in all domains with a focus on Research & Development in future technologies and defence co-production,” the Ministry said.

Both the Ministers acknowledged mutual security challenges and their convergences on a number of strategic and defence issues.

“They expressed commitment to work together to enhance cooperation in all forums. With the intention to further strengthen the existing framework of the Indo-Israeli defence cooperation architecture, both sides adopted the India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation. A Letter of Intent on enhancing cooperation in the field of Futuristic Defence Technologies was also exchanged between the two Ministers,” the Ministry said.

Talking about his meeting, Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to say, “Warm and productive meeting with the Defence Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Gantz, in New Delhi. Discussed key issues pertaining to defence cooperation and global & regional scenarios during the bilateral meeting. We place great value on our Strategic Partnership with Israel.”

Earlier in the day, the Defence Minister of Israel visited the National War Memorial and paid homage to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath at the monument. He was accorded a Ceremonial Guard of Honour before his bilateral meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

It was his first visit to India with an aim to strengthen the defence ties between the two countries. Defence cooperation has been one of the significant pillars of bilateral cooperation. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of the official diplomatic ties between India and Israel.