India To Purchase Anti-Tank Missiles From Israel Through Govt-To-Govt Deal

Illustrative. An Israel soldiers prepares to launch a Spike anti-tank guided missile during a training exercise

Illustrative. An Israel soldiers prepares to launch a Spike anti-tank guided missile during a training exercise

However, Delhi is now examining whether to purchase the weapons missiles through a government-to-government deal, the Press Trust India news agency reported, quoting unnamed official sources.

"The question is if it will influence our relationship or if it can influence the relationship", Carmon said in response to a question ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India starting Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the Jewish state in July previous year, becoming the first Indian premier to do so. Indian media said Delhi would instead opt for home-made anti-tank missiles. Israel has become a major defense supplier to India, selling an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year. Despite the cancellation of the missile deal, India's Defense Ministry said this month it had cleared a plan worth $72 million to buy 131 Barak surface-to-air missiles built by Rafael.

"Since we talk about democracies, similar values, similar challenges., the relationship is so strong between both the countries that our feeling is (that) nothing can reverse it", he said. As well as New Delhi, they will also visit India's financial capital Mumbai and Modi's home-state of Gujarat.

Carmon said apart from top Israeli officials, a delegation of 130 businessmen will accompany Netanyahu during his visit.

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Israel on Friday said India's vote against it in the United Nations on Jerusalem issue can not be brushed aside but this episode will not impact the bilateral relations and stop both the countries achieve newer heights in ties.

The deepening of ties in vital areas of trade and defence, including a possible signing of a multi- million dollar Israeli anti-tank missile deal, are on the table during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit, which comes days after India voted against Israel at the United Nations on the Jerusalem issue.

Not disheartened by Indias vote against Israel at the UN General Assembly on the issue of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed hope that bilateral ties would receive a further boost during his milestone visit to the country.

Before Modi visited Israel in July 2017 he hosted Abbas in India and offered help in health and information technology, but the trip was low-key.

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