India-Israel sign seven MoUs on space, water conservation, agriculture; plan to set up $40 million R&D fund

India and Israel on Tuesday signed seven agreements to increase cooperation in fields of technological research and development, space, water conservation and agriculture after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in-depth talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

Modi, who became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, arrived in Tel-Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday for a three-day visit. His visit is being seen as a step to towards new strategic ties between the two nations.

File image of Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

One of the key highlights of the agreements signed on Tuesday included the proposal to setting up $40 million worth India-Israel Industrial Research and Development (R&D) and Technical Innovation Fund.

Modi said, "We are of one view that together our scientists and researchers would develop, build and implement mutually beneficial solutions in the field."

"We regard thriving two-way trade and investment flows as the bedrock of a strong partnership. Netanyahu and I agreed on the need to do more in this direction. Businesses on both sides should take primary lead in such efforts," he added.

In the water sector, two agreements were signed to increase cooperation on water conservation and state water utility reform in India. An MoU in this regard was signed between Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam of the Republic of India and and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of the State of Israel.

Modi said that Israel is among the leading nations in the field of innovation, water and agricultural technology and "these are also among my priority areas in India's development".

"We agreed that efficiency of water and resource use; water conservation and its purification; productivity increases in agriculture are key areas in deepening our bilateral cooperation," he said.

In the agriculture sector, the two countries have agreed for India-Israel Development Cooperation — a three-year work programme in agriculture from 2018 to 2020.

Gopal Baglay, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said that the agreements in agriculture and water conservation sectors will help India achieve its goal of doubling farmers income by 2022.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Israel Space Agency (ISA) also agreed for cooperation in atomic clocks. The two space agencies also signed MoUs on cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link and cooperation in Electric Propulsion for small satellites.

Modi also said that during their talks he and Netanyahu agreed to to do much more together to combat terrorism to protect their strategic interests.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 05, 2017 19:10 PM

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