Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon left Monday for a historic, official visit to India, the first ever by an Israeli defense minister.
Ya’alon’s itinerary includes the inauguration of the Israeli pavilion at the Aero India 2015 defense industry exhibition in Bangalore, as well as meetings with several government officials, among them his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, and Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky.
“This visit is extremely significant,” Ya’alon said, just before boarding his flight. “It is very important for strengthening our relationship with the rising power of India.
“At the arms exhibition, we will get to enjoy the powerful Israeli defense industries, their unique quality and the fact that they are seen as the elite of the elite around the world,” Ya’alon said.
“The government of India is a true friend to Israel and sharing interests will benefit both countries, as seen with our respective defense establishments, which enjoy an excellent relationship.”
India and Israel have enjoyed a growing friendship in recent months. India is currently Israel’s biggest defense customer and the Israeli military delegation to India is its second largest, after the US. The two countries also have a Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism.