Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Israel to expand ties with Modi govt, offers help in Ganga clean-up

 Alon Ushpiz Alon Ushpiz
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: June 13, 2014 4:53 am

Expressing confidence that the relations between the two countries would go even further with a new government in New Delhi, Israel has said that the partnership needs to extend beyond defence and agriculture to public security and civilian trade.

The outgoing Israeli Ambassador to India, Alon Ushpiz, also pledged Tel Aviv’s support and technology for the new government’s plan to clean up the Ganga river, explaining that his nation has some of the best water technologies in the world.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Ushpiz said the India-Israel trajectory is very positive and relations are an evolution process in which “every new layer is built on the previous one”.

“My expectation from the government is that together we shall be able to to take all the things we have being doing in the last 10 years further.

There are things we are very good at, like defence and agriculture, but there are also others like civilian trade and water (where more can be done) and then there are things we are at the beginning of, like public security,” said Ushpiz.

He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 16, after the election results, and congratulated him in a “brief but good conversation”. He also said Tel Aviv is looking forward to hosting Modi as a state guest. “We will be very happy to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the second time, but his first as a PM,” he said.

Ushpiz expressed hope that political interactions between the two countries would reach new heights in the coming months. “We hope to take advantage of the next couple to years to push diplomatic relations forward as one basket and another basket being political interactions. The high level political interactions will be increasing in the coming months,” he said.

Ushpiz described the defence partnership between the two countries as “very serious and very unique”. “There is a lot of appreciation of Indian (defence) professionals. We have a partnership, which means it is a two-way street, something which is very far away from a buying and selling relation,” he said, defining the tipping point in the relation as “when two intimate partners who trust each other and start thinking of challenges together and solutions together and what follows together”.

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