EAM, Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen hold talks, three agreements inked

New Delh: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Tuesday held bilateral talks during which new agreements were inked in the field of agriculture and water as well as mobility.

In a long tweet, the EAM said:

“Productive and wide-ranging discussions with Foreign Minister @elicoh1 of Israel this afternoon.

“The main pillars of our Strategic Partnership – Agriculture, Water, Defence & Security – are taking our ties forward. New agreements in water & agriculture today underline the potential to do more.

“Discussed cooperation in high tech, digital & innovation, as also connectivity, mobility tourism, finance, and health.

“Noted the progress in I2U2 and cooperation in multilateral forums. Exchanged perspectives on our respective regions, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific.

“Initialed an agreement in the area of mobility.”

The Israeli Minister in a tweet said he had held an excellent meeting with EAM Jaishankar, and the two sides are expanding cooperation in the fields of cyber, agriculture and water.

“Excellent meeting with the Foreign Minister of India -@DrSJaishankar

“We are strengthening ties with the most populous country in the world, and expanding cooperation in the fields of cyber, agriculture and water.

“Our cooperation will strengthen Israel’s position in the world and stability in the Middle East.”

The Israeli Foreign Minister, who had to cut short his visit and return tonight in the wake of the airstrikes in Gaza, also thanked EAM for the “warm hospitality and the interesting discussion on global developments”.

“I look forward to working together strengthening the cooperation between our two countries. See you soon in Israel,” he said.

Addressing the India-Israel Business Forum CII event, he said: “For my visit to India, I arrived at the head of an economic delegation of dozens of businessmen and company representatives. The trade potential between Israel and India is enormous, and today we have taken significant steps that will expand cooperation on the way to a free trade agreement, and contribute to the economies of both countries.”

According to the Israeli Embassy, the ministers inked agreements focused on deepening the bilateral cooperation in various sectors, especially water technology and driving employment for workers and caregivers.

Three MoUs were inked between the two nations in the presence of Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at the CII event.

“This will mark a new era of cooperation and partnership between our nations,” the Israeli Embassy said.

Shekhawat, in his remarks, said the two nations are not just bilateral partners but strategic partners, and the areas of mutual cooperation expand to multiple sectors – water, space, health, energy, food, defence.

The two ministers later paid homage at the Teen Murti Haifa Chowk.

EAM Jaishankar said “This symbol of our shared history reflects the enduring India-Israel friendship.”

An Israeli readout said Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen arrived in India at the head of an economic delegation comprising 36 Israeli businesspersons mainly from the fields of water management and agriculture.

During the visit in Delhi, Foreign Minister Cohen held bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Both countries noted the progress in I2U2 and held wide ranging discussions on cooperation in security, economy, technology, innovation, connectivity and health.

Foreign Minister Cohen also opened the CII India-Israel Business Forum. Three MoUs were signed during the event, marking a new era of cooperation and partnership between the business communities of both nations.

During the visit, there was a signing of the framework of the agreement between the Government of Israel and the Government of India on facilitation of the temporary employment of Indian workers in specific labor market sectors (caregivers and construction workers) in Israel.

Both countries also signed letter of intent to establish two Centers of Water Technology in India.

A project called World on Wheels (WoW Bus) was launched by the Embassy of Israel in India in the presence of Foreign Minister Cohen. The aim of this initiative is to facilitate digital literacy, personality development, and entrepreneurship training in rural parts of India. This is one of the many projects undertaken by the embassy with local partners in India in the field of education.

The visit was cut short due to the security situation in Israel following Operation Shield and Arrow, it said.

According to a tweet by an Israeli journalist retweeted by the Embassy, 42,000 foreign workers from India will arrive to Israel in the next months, for construction and nursing jobs.


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