Indo-Israel Spike deal alive?

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A road show in Gujarat, visit to Agra, a meet-up with Bollywood stars, reviving defence deals, and a much anticipated gift by PM Netanyahu for PM Narendra Modi are the talking points of the visit so far.

Last month, India raised many eyebrows at home when it voted for an Arab resolution criticising Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

India is considering purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route, months after it chose to cancel a deal to procure the weapons from an Israeli firm.

"India imports critical defence technologies from Israel". Now, it is learnt that the government is considering buying the missiles through G- to-G route, as per PTI. "So both the countries will actively explore new areas of cooperation", Bala Bhaskar, Joint Secretary, MEA told the media in New Delhi.

This is best illustrated by the headline in the Israeli daily, Haaretz: India Wants an Affair when it Comes to Israel, not a Serious Relationship. In February 2014, India and Israel signed three important agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Cooperation in Homeland Security, and Protection of Classified Material.

Carmon, however, said that there was a lot of importance in the votes in the United Nations and said that these have always been on the joint agenda of India and Israel. After some embarrassing confusion by the defence ministry cancelling a Spike missile contract with Rafael Industries of Israel, sources here said the deal was back on track as a government-to-government contract, in the manner of the Rafale deal.

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Again in 1971, Israel helped India during the India-Pakistan war.

Mr Netanyahu's trip, which marks 25 years of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel, is only the second by an Israeli prime minister to India, following Ariel Sharon's visit in 2003.

According to an Israeli embassy statement, Mr Netanyahu will arrive in New Delhi on Jan 14 and depart from Mumbai on Jan 19.

The visiting dignitary, on Monday, will be given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan which will be followed by the wreath laying at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

He would be then participating in a dialogue at Hyderabad house which will also include a one-on-one discussion with PM Modi. The Israeli PM will call on President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.

"The prime minister will be talking (to his hosts) on the whole range of issues which make up relations between Israel and India: water, agriculture, energy, culture, innovation, also defence", he said.

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