Israeli envoy downplays India's vote against it at UN

| | New Delhi

Two days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's scheduled visit to India, its Ambassador Daniel Carmon tried to downplay India's vote against it at the United Nations General Assembly over the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in place of Tel Aviv. Carmon on Friday said that countries sometimes cannot agree to each other's requests and New Delhi's view at the UNGA will not influence Indo-Israel ties.

India, last month, had joined 127 other countries to vote in the UNGA in favour of a resolution opposing the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. India has traditionally supported a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Talking about its own vote in the UN in favour of Justice Dalveer Bhadari for the International Court of Justice, Carmon said Israel adopted justice Bhandari as its own candidate at the ICJ.

Netanyahu will be on a six-day visit to India starting Sunday, during which he will hold comprehensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is expected that the much discussed multi-million dollar Israeli anti-tank missiles Spike deal might be signed during the visit.

While Carmon did not get into the details of the possible agreement for the Spike missiles, he did mention that the Spike project is an example of “Israeli engaging in Make in India” because it can be implemented through partnership between an Israeli company and Indian company.

India and Israel were for the last two years discussing the purchase of $500 million Anti Tank Guided Missile Spike missiles from Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. The missiles were tested by the Indian Army and final negotiations were on. However, when Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said that it is also capable of making such a missile, the Request For Proposal was cancelled in last November.  Now, it is learnt that the government is reconsidering buying a few missiles through Government-to-Government route.

Apart from defence, strengthening cooperation in counter terrorism will be discussed between the two PMs. Trade, agriculture, technology, education are some of the key areas that the two countries are trying to strengthen their partnership. The two countries are also looking at increasing investments. Carmon said apart from top Israeli officials, a delegation of 130 businessmen will accompany Netanyahu during his visit.



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