NEW DELHI: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he was discussing with India ways to strengthen security cooperation against the rising of Islam that both democracies faced.
India, wary of upsetting Arab nations on which it was dependent for oil, and heeding the sentiments of its own large Muslim minority, kept a distance from Israel for decades. But under Modi, the two sides have embraced a closer relationship based on security and economics.
The right-wing Netanyahu told a security conference that India and Israel were two democracies with a natural affinity, but their open and liberal societies faced risks.
“Our way of life is being challenged, most notably, the quest for modernity, the quest for innovation (are) being challenged by radical Islam and its terrorist offshoots from a variety of corners,” he said.
“We’ve discussed in this visit how we can strengthen our two nations in the civilian areas, in security areas, in every area,” Netanyahu told the conference.
Netanyahu toured the Taj Mahal on Tuesday and will also visit Modi’s home state of Gujarat and India’s financial capital Mumbai.
He will join an 11-year-old Israeli boy, Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents were murdered by militants in Mumbai in 2008, for a memorial event at Mumbai’s Jewish centre where the attack took place.
The boy, who lives with his grandparents in Israel, arrived on Tuesday as a guest of Modi. —Reuters