Israel's Netanyahu pushes for India free trade deal during rare visit
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India and Israel will begin work on a free trade pact that Tel Aviv has been pushing for, officials said on Monday, as Benjamin Netanyahu began a first visit by an Israeli prime minister in 15 years.
…Israel has given initial approval for Indian energy companies to explore oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean, in the first such move by Indian firms in that region.
Can India Really Play 'Best Friends' to Israel, Palestine and Iran at the Same Time?
(Haaretz) Netanyahu calls India - Israel relations a 'marriage made in heaven'. For the arms trade and public relations, it certainly is. But as Modi won't betray the Palestinians or renounce the Iranians, it resembles more an open marriage - and that might be far less sustainable.
That's the word being used to describe India's nimble delinking of bilateral relations with Israel and with Palestine. And that potential victory of political pragmatism, if not gymnastics, will be on full display this week, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Prime Minster Narendra Modi, as part of a six-day tour of India.
Netanyahu's visit is the sibling of Narendra Modi's July 2017 visit to Israel (and their prior meeting at the UN General Assembly) during which Modi didn't visit Palestine. The increasing closeness between the leaders, at least in front of the cameras, illustrates what many describe as a tectonic shift in diplomatic relations between India and Israel.
But the Palestinian issue hasn't disappeared; Iran is still a stumbling block; and the two countries' mutual interest in outsized weapons deals plays a critical role in relations. Not that you'd pick that up at all from the flowery language used by Modi and Netanyahu – and that's deliberate and calculated, from both sides
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his arrival at the Palam Air Force Station, New Delhi. January 14, 2018.
AFP PHOTO / PIB