We are intensifying our contacts and our cooperation in so many fields – in the fields of science and technology and cyber and defense and agriculture and health – everything. And we want to do more.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 18 January 2016), met with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Sawaraj. The two discussed bilateral cooperation on a broad range of issues: Security and cyber, science and technology, research and innovation, and agriculture and water.
They also discussed the intention to increase cooperation via the business sector in both countries, and not only by means of the two governments. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel wanted maximum cooperation with India, in all areas. Indian External Affairs Minister Swaraj raised the possibility of increasing the number of Indian students in Israeli institutions of higher education.
During the meeting, the Indian Minister viewed a Strategic Affairs Ministry video clip on Palestinian incitement, which has been sent to European foreign ministers. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the video explained [today’s and yesterday’s] stabbings of the two mothers. Indian Minister Swaraj expressed her condolences and condemned both yesterday’s terrorist attack in Otniel and today’s in Tekoa.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Madam Foreign Minister, it’s a pleasure to welcome you here in Jerusalem. The Middle East’s only democracy welcomes the Foreign Minister of the world’s greatest democracy.
There’s been a great flowering of relationship and friendship between our two countries in recent years, and I take special pleasure in welcoming you here and also sending regards to my good friend and colleague, Prime Minister Modi. The expression of this growing relationship has been in the visit of the Indian president here, the first ever of an Indian head of state.
We are intensifying our contacts and our cooperation in so many fields – in the fields of science and technology and cyber and defense and agriculture and health – everything. And we want to do more. So it’s a particular opportunity, I think, and a special one for the foreign ministers of both India and Israel – I hold that portfolio – to have a discussion about the various challenges that we face in the Middle East and in the world, but I would say especially the opportunities that we face.
We are both ancient nations, ancient civilizations. We treasure our past. We take pride in our heritage, but at the same time we want to seize the future and the future belongs to those who innovate. Israel and India are at the cutting edge of so many areas of innovation, and by working together we can do a lot more for our peoples and for the world.
So we admire India. We view India as a great friend, and it’s in that spirit of friendship that I welcome you here in Jerusalem. Welcome."
Indian External Affairs Minister Swaraj: "I bring greetings and best wishes from the Prime Minister Modi, from the President, Pranab Mukherjee, and from the people of India.
I fully reciprocate the words of you, the prime minister, who’s a strong advocate of our bilateral relations. India attaches the highest importance to the full development of wide-ranging ties with Israel. Our bilateral cooperation has developed well in a number of areas over the past two decades, but the potential of our relations is much more.
I’m looking forward to my meetings with the Israeli leadership. I hope to discuss the entire spectrum of our bilateral relationship. Excellency, I also hope to get an assessment of the situation in the region and explore areas where we can cooperate in addressing common challenges.
You very rightly said that we are two vibrant democracies, so today the two foreign ministers of these vibrant democracies are meeting. Welcome here, greetings from India."