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Rajnath holds "productive" talks with visiting Israeli defence minister

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz at a meeting in New Delhi, Thursday, June 2, 2022. A PTI Photo

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today  held extensive talks with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz, focusing on evolving regional security scenarios and ways to further strengthen bilateral ties.

The two sides adopted a 'vision statement' reaffirming their resolve to expand defence and military cooperation.

Officials said the two ministers deliberated on the co-development and co-production of military equipment in sync with growing India-Israel strategic ties besides discussing geopolitical turmoil including the Ukraine crisis.

Singh described the meeting with Gantz as "warm and productive"

"Discussed key issues pertaining to defence cooperation and global and regional scenarios during the bilateral meeting. We place great value on our Strategic Partnership with Israel," Singh tweeted.

"Glad that both the countries adopted a 'Vison Statement' which will pave the way for defence cooperation in future. There is a broad consensus between both the countries on further strengthening the bilateral strategic and defence cooperation," he added.

The overall situation in the Gulf region also figured in the talks, according to officials.

Before the talks, Gantz paid tributes to India's fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial.

India has been a major buyer of Israel's military hardware. Israel has been supplying various weapon systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles to India over the last few years but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains.

India procured a number of weapons and ammunition including Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel in the last couple of years.

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