Jerusalem: Saying that Indo-Israeli bilateral ties were at an “all time high,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin who received the credentials from Indian Ambassador Sanjeev Singla, said Indo-Israel security cooperation was a “strategic asset”, and expressed hope that ties between the two countries would further get strengthened.
“Israel and India cooperate in a wide range of fields, civilian and military. We consider our security cooperation as a strategic asset. I hope our cooperation in this field will keep developing”, Rivlin said.
Talking about his meeting with former President Pranab Mukherjee, the Israeli leader said that they “developed a remarkable friendship”. Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rivlin called him “one of the greatest leaders of our age”.
Both, Singla and Rivlin, said cooperation in the field of water management, agriculture and innovation were of prime importance to the two countries.
“We know that the question of water is at the top of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s agenda and it came up in my visit to India and his visit here. I hope we will continue to push forward our cooperation on this”, Rivlin said.
Rivlin called the starting of Air India’s direct flights to Israel over the Gulf and Saudi Arabia “an example of how cooperation betwen Israel and India can advance peace in the Middle East”.
“The direct flight not only reduces the travel time from ten to seven hours but also shows that Jews, Muslims, Arabs and Israelis can live together and end hatred and develop an understanding”, Rivlin said.
The Israeli leader spoke of the growing people to people interaction, the role of the Indian Jewish community in promoting bilateral ties, and how the youngsters in Israel saw India as a “very special place” to be visited after finishing their mandatory army service.
Singla told the Israeli President that he had checked on the sapling that he planted during his trip to India in Karnal (Haryana) and that it is now an 8-foot tall tree.
It may be noted here that Rivlin planted a Rudraksh tree during his visit to India.
Singla also laid a wreath at Jerusalem’s Holocaust Memorial after the credentials presentation ceremony to pay respects to six million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust.
The Indian Ambassador served as Private Secretary to Prime Minister Modi before coming to Israel.