Israel is on the verge of signing a $500 million dollar deal to provide India with Spike anti-tank guided missiles, The Hindu reported this past weekend.
It is expected that the deal — under the terms of which the Indian military will receive more than 8,000 missiles and 300 launchers, which are built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems — will be finalized during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic trip to Israel next month.
Modi is set to become the first sitting Indian prime minister to set foot in Israel. His visit comes as Israel and India mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In recent years, the relationship between the two countries has flourished in a number of realms, including the defense field.
However, an Indian official told The Hindu, Modi’s Israel trip “will not be defense-centric.”
“Earlier, the relationship was based on defense, but now we have gone beyond that,” the official was quoted as saying.
During his stay in Israel, Modi — as reported in The Algemeiner last week — will not travel to Ramallah or any other part of the Palestinian Authority, unlike most foreign leaders during visits to the Jewish state.
It is expected that, while in Israel, Modi will officially invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a reciprocal visit to India later this year. In 2003, the late Ariel Sharon became the first and so far only sitting Israeli prime minister to travel to India.
(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner Barney Breen-Portnoy