Israel, India Discussing Partnership to Help Africa

Israeli PM Netanyahu and Indian PM Modi. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

It’s not enough that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first ever Indian head of state to visit Israel, or that his historic visit is ushering in a deeper cooperation between the two nations. Apparently, it’s not enough to stop at just two countries getting closer—India and Israel want to make it three, or more, by working together in Africa. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a plan to jointly assist Africa with India during a working session on Wednesday with Modi that signed seven different agreements between the two countries.

“We’re going to seek to bring to fruition these various areas which can truly revolutionize our relationship but also the lives of many, many millions of people, both in India—in India, it’s many hundreds of millions of people—but we’re talking about beyond that even,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “We’re talking about also cooperation in third countries and actually working together to better the future of the people of Africa.”

Israel has long been active in Africa in a variety of areas of cooperation, especially water technology and agriculture, and has been looking to expand its partnership with the nearby continent. Netanyahu noted that India is also already present in Africa, “so we think that by joining forces in various areas… we can help the people of Africa as well.”

Said the Israeli leader, “This is very, very exciting and it shows you how we are seizing the future.”

As for the one-on-one agreements between Israel and India, the two nations signed deals on areas ranging from water technology to science. Netanyahu further noted that they have already started setting deadlines for the agreements, saying that he and Prime Minister Modi have “empowered our staffs to bring us concrete plans in these diverse areas by the first of January.”

Netanyahu said that he and the Indian leader “try to look to the distance but have our feet firmly planted on the ground… So this is very practical.”

As part of that looking ahead, Prime Minister Modi invited Netanyahu to visit India, which the Jewish leader accepted. Netanyahu is firmly embracing the new stage of partnership with India, but his vision is even broader than that.

“I have a feeling that today, India and Israel are changing our world and maybe changing parts of the world,” said Netanyahu, “Because this is a cooperation, it’s a marriage really made in Heaven but we’re implementing it here on Earth.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, July 5, 2017)

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