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PM Modi’s to seal big defence deals during his Israel visit

A raft of mega defence deals, including the procurement of an air defence system for the Indian Navy, are likely to be sealed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel, which will be the first by an Indian PM to the Jewish nation.

Ahead of the visit, which is likely to take place in July, Israeli envoy Daniel Carmon said it will be a “big” visit, reflecting the depth of cooperation between the two countries in a range of key areas.

The much-awaited deal for Barak-8 air defence missile systems for the Navy and the procurement of Spike anti-tank missiles for the Indian Army are expected to be firmed up during Mr Modi’s visit to Tel Aviv.

“India, Israel relations are big enough. The visit, when it takes place, will be a very very important visit. It will be one of the most important visits that Israel has witnessed in many many years,” Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon told PTI in an interview.

Mr Modi’s visit coincides with the establishment of 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. A number of other defence deals are also likely to be discussed.

Asked about specific defence deals, the envoy said only that the relationship has gone beyond buying and selling, and that the two countries were now focussing majorly on joint research and development.

“Israel has very good relations with India and the relationship has various facets including defence,” he said.

People familiar with defence relations say the two multi-billion dollar acquisition deals are likely to be finalised during the PM’s trip.

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