Netanyahu to Indian PM Modi: “Sky’s the Limit” Between Both Nations (VIDEO)

September 29, 2014

3 min read

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York late Sunday in a move to bolster and expand bilateral ties between the two nations.

The meeting is the first between Israeli and Indian premiers in over a decade, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) stated.

Both leaders are in New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly. During their meeting, Netanyahu and Modi discussed the nuclear developments in Iran.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu raised the issue of the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran as well as the global threat posed by Islamic terrorism, the PMO’s office said in a statement.

India, which is one of the world’s largest importers of Iranian oil, has refused to cut ties with the Islamic Republic. While India has cut crude oil imports from Iran by 40 percent due to western pressure, trade soared between the two countries after financial sanctions were eased by the P5+1 in November 2013.

According to the Mumbai based Economic Times, bilateral trade between India and Iran was an approximate $15.25 billion over the last year.

While India retains close ties with Iran, it is also one of Israel’s most important defense partners. Globes estimates that Israel in India’s fourth largest arms suppliers, having spent close to $533 million to purchase weapons over the last three years.

Netanyahu reached out to Modi to increase Israeli-Indian cooperation on high-tech, cyber defense, water and agricultural projects.


“This is an opportunity for Israel and India to expand further our relationship,” Netanyahu stated. “We are two old peoples, some of the oldest in the nations on earth but we are also two democracies, we’re proud of our rich traditions but we’re also eager to seize the future. I believe that if we work together we can do so with benefits to both our peoples.”

The prime minister extended an invitation to Modi to visit Israel. “I know you’ve been there before. It will be a pleasure to welcome you again. We’re very excited by the prospects of greater and greater ties with India, we think the sky is the limit.”

Modi rose to India’s top leadership position in May. A member of the Hindu nationalist BJP faction, Modi promoted himself to India’s 1.2 billion population as being able to economically strengthen the country.

The Indian leader told Netanyahu that he agreed that “India-Israel relations are historic.”

“I met this morning with the people from the Jewish community, American Jewish Committee, and they all appreciated that there is a deep recognition in Israel what India is the only country where anti-Semitism has never been allowed to come up, where Jews have never suffered and lived as an integral part of society,” Modi said through his translator.

The meeting between Netanyahu and Modi marks the start a whirlwind trip for the Israeli leader.

On Monday, the prime minister will speak before the UN General Assembly where he vowed to “refute the lies spewed” against the State of Israeli by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas accused Israel in his speech to the assembly of “war crimes” and genocide.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

PM Netanyahu Meets with PM Modi in New York

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