NEW DELHI: Noting that “failure to act and silence of speech only encourages the terrorists”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Israel and India have agreed to intensify their cooperation to combat the forces of extremism and radicalisation that threaten all peace-loving nations.
Addressing a joint press conference with Israel President Reuven Rivlin after bilateral talks, Prime Minister Modi said, “We recognise that terrorism is a global challenge, knows no boundaries and has extensive links with other forms of organised crime.”
“Regrettably, one of the countries of its origin and spread is in India's neighbourhood,” said the Prime Minister in an indirect reference to Pakistan.
Stating that President Rivlin and he deeply value their strong and growing partnership to secure their societies, Prime Minister Modi observed, “Our people are constantly threatened by forces of terrorism and extremism. We agreed that the international community must act with resolve and determination against terror networks and States that harbour them. Failure to act and silence of speech only encourages the terrorists. We agreed to intensify our cooperation to combat the forces of extremism and radicalisation that threaten all peace-loving nations.”
Hailing India’s defence partnership with Israel, the Prime Minister said, “We noted the strength of our growing defence partnership and agreed on the need to make it more broad-based in production and manufacturing.”
Prime Minister Modi also expressed India’s gratefulness to Israel for its clear support to India’s permanent candidature in a reformed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
“We have identified water management and conservation, and collaboration in scientific research and development as two areas of priority engagement, whereas our economic initiatives and emphasis on innovation, research and technological development match well with Israel’s strengths and capacities,” said the Prime Minister.
Speaking on the various aspects of India-Israel cooperation, he said, “Our engagement is multi-dimensional and wide-ranging such as enhancing agricultural productivity and efficiency; boosting research and innovation linkages; employing applications of science and technology for the benefit of our societies; forging strong trade links and investment ties; building defence ties to secure our people; enhancing people to people ties through greater cultural and tourism linkages; and promoting educational exchanges. The growing number of Indian students going to study in Israel and vice versa can be an important bridge in our bilateral partnership.”
Noting that President Rivlin’s visit provides an opportunity to break new ground and shape new contours of our partnership, the Prime Minister said, “Excellency, your visit will provide crucial push to build new pillars in our partnership. The 2000-year old Jewish community in India represents a thriving link to this past, a vital part of our composite cultural mosaic. As we approach the 25-year milestone in establishment of diplomatic relations, we are committed to advance our engagement on several fronts.”
Responding to Prime Minister Modi’s statement, President Rivlin affirmed support to India on countering terrorism, while saying, “Terror is terror is terror is terror.”
President Rivlin, who is on an eight-day official visit to India, said, “Israel is ready to answer the PM’s call; we are ready to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make with India’.”
Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari will call on President Rivlin at 4 p.m. at Hotel Taj Palace, while the visiting President will call on his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan 7.30 p.m., which will be followed by a banquet hosted by President Mukherjee at 8 p.m.
Later, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will call on the visiting dignitary.
President Rivlin will be visiting the Taj Mahal at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, followed by a visit to Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam Water Treatment Plant at Sikandra at 12 in the noon.
He will return here at 3.45 p.m.
President Rivlin, who is visiting India on an invitation of President Mukherjee, is expected to meet business leaders of both India and Israel. He will also be visiting ‘Centre of Excellence’ in agriculture in Karnal and will participate in Agro Tech – 2016 on Thursday.