What’s driving India closer to Israel? – Inside Story

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Inside Story – What’s driving India closer to Israel?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed to Israel on Tuesday Narendra Modi, who’s on a visit to Israel, the first by a sitting Indian prime minister.

Modi’s two-day trip marks a significant warming of relations since Israel and India established full diplomatic ties 25 years ago.

India has long promoted a pro-Arab agenda, and downplayed ties with Israel – in fear of alienating its large Muslim population, and upsetting economic relations with Arab states.

Although Modi will not visit Ramallah on this visit – he met Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi in May.

But some say this trip represents a shift in policy. Modi’s visit comes with a backdrop of an already booming business and military ties with Israel.

India is one of the world’s biggest importers of defence equipment, while Israel has become one if its largest suppliers.

But what’s behind this warming of relations between Israel and India?

Presenter: Jane Dutton

Guests:

Akiva Eldar – Political Columnist with Al-Monitor

Chetan Sharma – Economic Affairs Analyst

Kadira Pethiyagoda – Visiting Fellow with Brookings Doha Center

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