India could revive missile megadeal with Israel - navy

Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen attends a press conference in Tel Aviv

According to a report in India's Hindustan Times on Wednesday, the deal will now be implemented on a government-to-government basis rather than working directly through the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

In November, the defence ministry had made a decision to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India next week and ways to further deepen the already close defence ties between the two countries may figure during his talks with Indian leaders here.

Netanyahu will be flying in with a 130-member business delegation as well as top officials from the Israel Innovation Authority and Israel's National Trade Commission.

South Carolina's governor urged his state's Senate on Wednesday to pass legislation created to counter campus antisemitism in time for.

Despite the cancellation of the missile deal, India's Defence Ministry said this month it had cleared a plan worth $72 million to buy 131 Barak surface-to-air missiles built by Rafael.

Netanyahu's India trip comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel in July, the first ever by an Indian premier. Around one-third of Israel's defence production is bought by India. Last year, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd won almost $2 billion in contracts from India.

Israel is a major weapons supplier to India, selling it an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.

Netanyahu's is the first prime ministerial visit from Israel to India since the visit of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2003.

"Let's not forget that before Modi visited Israel a year ago, he hosted Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi as well", Mr Taneja said.

It will also highlight the countries' shared interest to fight extremism with the prime minister's visit to Mumbai to commemorate the November 2008 attacks.

On the strong bond between the two leaders which was driving the current Indo-Israeli ties, Carmon had said that the relationship between India and Israel is an "all-weather friendship". In the capital, Mr Netanyahu will pay a visit to the presidential palace, preside over a meeting of Indian and Israeli businessmen and inaugurate the Raisina Dialogue, a three-day foreign policy forum convened by ORF.

Bollywood "mega-celebs wield tremendous influence around the world", Cohen said.

The same can be expected of Netanyahu's reciprocal visit this week to India, with an itinerary that will be packed with political consultations and business-development meetings, one global conference, and numerous ceremonies, cultural events, and site visits.

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