NEW DELHI: Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane on Sunday left for Israel on a five-day maiden visit to further strengthen India’s defence and security cooperation with the Jewish state.
The visit by the Army Chief to Israel comes weeks after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar travelled to Tel Aviv.
In August, then Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria also paid a four-day visit to Israel
“Gen MM Naravane, the Chief of the Army Staff has proceeded on a visit to Israel from November 15 to 19. This is his first visit to Israel,” the Army said.
“During the visit, he will be meeting the country’s senior military and civilian leadership where he will discuss avenues for further enhancing Indo-Israel defence relations,” it said in a statement.
The Army said Gen Naravane will take forward the “excellent” bilateral defence cooperation between Israel and India through multiple meetings with senior officials of the security establishment and exchange views on various defence-related issues.
The Army Chief is scheduled to interact with the Israeli service chiefs and visit the headquarters of the ground forces element of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).
In reflection of growing bilateral defence ties, India and Israel last month agreed to form a task force to develop a 10-year strategy for identifying new areas of collaboration in the defence sector.
The two countries have inked an agreement to jointly develop next-generation technologies and products such as drones, robotics, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
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.
Source: Press Trust of India