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India Becoming Israel’s ‘Best Friend’ in Asia


India seems to be at the top of the agenda in Israel’s desire to strengthen economic ties with Asia and Latin America, and the interest is mutual.

Israel may have a “staunch new ally” in South Asia with the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 national elections, according to the New York-based International Business Times (IBT).

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting on Israel’s move from dependence on the European market to strengthening economic ties with Asia and Latin America, also mentioned his congratulatory call on Friday to Modi, who led the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party to a landslide victory.

“On Friday, I spoke with the Prime Minister-elect of India,” Netanyahu said. “There, too, is a clear expression of the desire to deepen and develop economic ties with the State of Israel.”

“Netanyahu did not lose time in reaching out to Modi…as part of his goal to benefit from untapped potential in the huge market there,” reports IBT.

The enthusiasm is not one-sided, however. Modi is “keen to deepen ties with Israel,” IBT pointed out in a headline.

“Modi, a right-wing, pro-Hindu nationalist…has long courted political and trade links with the State of Israel,” IBT said, adding that Asia is “likely to overtake the Jewish state’s close ally United States as the largest export destination.”

Both countries “have been negotiating a Free Trade Agreement for the last several years,” the article continues. “While relations between India and Israel have deepened and


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