Defense Minister Ya'alon: Israel to Expand Security Cooperation With India

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Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and India PM Narendra Modi before their meeting, Feb. 19, 2015. Ya'alon is first Israeli Defense Minister on official visit to subcontinent.Credit: Reuters

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the first Israeli defense minister to make an official visit to India, met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and said the two countries would expand cooperation in security and other matters.

Meeting in the morning in Modi’s office, the two officials also discussed regional issues, the defense minister’s bureau said in a statement.

After the meeting with Modi, Ya’alon met with Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh. On Wednesday, Israel’s defense chief met with his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar.

Ya’alon told Modi that Israel is committed to developing defense and other connections with India since the two countries share joint values and interests.

And Ya’alon said he’d instructed his staff to expand cooperation with the subcontinent in knowledge and technology transfer, manufacturing in India and other joint projects.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said Thursday it had signed a cooperation agreement with India’s Kalyani Group. Under the terms, the two companies will establish a jointly owned company to develop and produce missiles and other weapons systems in India.

Speaking with Modi, Ya’alon mentioned the negotiations between the P5+1 powers - China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., plus Germany - and Iran on the nuclear question.

He said Israel reiterates its warning about the dangerous implications of an agreement that turns Iran into a threshold nuclear state.

Iran, Ya’alon said, is the cause of the instability in the Middle East. It’s involved in every conflict in the region and operates unrestrained terror there, he said.

Modi said in a statement that during the talks with Ya’alon, he recalled his meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September 2014 and with Israel’s agriculture minister last month during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

India’s premier expressed satisfaction with the two countries’ cooperation in various sectors.

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