Recognising evolving global terror threats, India and Israel have resolved to deepen cooperation in fighting the menace and collaborate in the field of cyber security.
During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visiting Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday night discussed the regional situation and the evolving threats to the global community from terror.
‘The home minister said that terror was a threat not only to countries like India and Israel but to the whole world. They reviewed existing cooperation and future possibilities in this area,’ an official statement issued after the meeting said.
The home minister expressed satisfaction at the growth in bilateral ties in a range of areas, including defence and agriculture.
Singh noted the signing of agreements in the area of homeland security that had opened another area of mutually beneficial cooperation.
The home minister emphasised the importance of capacity building and training and said that the future emphasis should be to build a hi-tech partnership befitting two leading knowledge economies.
Both Singh and Netanyahu agreed that the Free Trade Agreement under discussion between the two sides should be inked soon.
The hour-long meeting between the two leaders has been described as extremely cordial and fruitful where they discussed a wide range of issues.
Fresh from his participation at Interpol general assembly in Monaco, Singh said that he also made a strong pitch for cooperation in the field of cyber security during his conversation with the Israeli PM.
Singh had earlier highlighted the use of social media for indoctrination by jihadi elements and called for an urgent need to device ways to curb this practice through the use of Internet.
Both the leaders also expressed their countries' keenness to strengthen ties, with Netanyahu emphasising that he “believes that relations between the two countries were poised for rapid development” following his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September in New York.
During that meeting, the Israeli PM had said that "sky is the limit" in terms of prospects of cooperation between the two countries.
Lauding India's capacity for science and innovation, Netanyahu told Singh that the best mathematicians always came from India.
"My uncle, who was a mathematician, always used to tell me that the best mathematicians came from India", Netanyahu told Singh.
Singh commended the achievements of Israel and Israeli scientists in different fields.
Netanyahu in return pointed out the great potential for utilisation of this capacity noting that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied, and the Silicon Valley are full of Indians and Israelis.
He also mentioned that he made a lot of Indian friends during his studies at MIT.
Vowing to strengthen India's "very warm" relations with Israel, Singh on his first bilateral visit to Israel said, “India and Israel share very warm and cordial bilateral relations. We look forward to strengthen it further.”
The home minister on Thursday took a helicopter tour of the Jordan Valley and Israel's northern and southern region with National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen to get a sense of the security situation in the area.
Cohen had recently met Singh in New Delhi and discussed "common challenges" faced by the two countries and their solutions, emphasising his country's "willingness to expand cooperation in all fields and in any level."
Israel accorded a red carpet welcome to the Indian leader making several exceptions which are reserved only for heads of states.
Singh was also hosted by Israel's Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich on Thursday.