India's Jerusalem vote won't mar bilateral relations: Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon

India's Jerusalem vote won't mar bilateral relations: Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon

Last April, Israel Aerospace Industries inked agreements amounting to $2 billion with India, including a $1.6 billion contract to deliver a medium-range surface-to-air missile defense system and a $400 million deal for a long-range surface-to-air missile system.

Briefing about the visit, Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon while trying to downplay India's recent vote at the United Nations General Assembly against the United States and Israel, could not hide his disappointment. The strategic and defence components have been a strong part of India-Israel relations for some time. "Of course we are not happy when some do not support us", said Mr. Carmon, reminding that Israel had recently supported India's candidate for the International Court of Justice, Judge Dalveer Bhandari.

Netanyahu flies to India on Sunday where he's paying a reciprocal visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mostly to promote business ties.

India is considering purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route, months after it chose to cancel a deal to procure the weapons from an Israeli firm. Prime Minister Moody is also slated to accompany Prime Minister Netanyahu in large parts during the visit.

India's 2014 deal to purchase the anti-tank missiles from Rafael was overturned last November.

A media highlight of that visit was a barefoot stroll though the surf together at an Israeli beach, where Modi got a demonstration of a mobile water desalination unit mounted on a dune buggy.

Not surprisingly, during his visit, Modi enthusiastically coined the term, "I4I", standing for "India for Israel and Israel for India", while Netanyahu spoke of: "I squared, T squared", standing for, "India-Israel Ties for Tomorrow".

In 2018, Israeli arms manufacturing firm Rafael confirmed scrapping of $500 million Spike, anti-tank guided missile, deal between India and Israel.

Later in the afternoon, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to call on the visiting Israeli PM at the Taj Palace Hotel, where he will be staying.

But Modi has said he wants to end India's status as the world's number one defense importer and to have 70 per cent of hardware manufactured domestically by the turn of the decade.

Both India and Israel are eager to expand bilateral trade, from the present annual value of $4bn to $10bn by 2022. It was reported from Jerusalem that this relates to sharing of knowledge in the field of homoeopathy and ayurveda that have been gaining popularity in Israel over the last few years.