Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, right, shakes hand with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the president’s official residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, the result of growing ties that have led to billions of dollars in defence deals. (Thomas Coex, Pool via AP)
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel and India signed several agreements on cooperation in the fields of technology, water and agriculture Wednesday, the second day of a landmark visit by the Indian prime minister to the Jewish state.
The cooperation marks a "marriage made in heaven," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking alongside his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.
The agreements are the centerpiece of Modi’s three-day visit, which began Tuesday, to celebrate the 25 years of diplomatic relations and bring them even closer. The two leaders also said they discussed counterterrorism and cybersecurity cooperation between the two states.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, right, meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the president’s official residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. (Thomas Coex, Pool via AP)
"Our goal is to build a relationship that reflects our shared priorities and draws on enduring bonds between our peoples," Modi said at the joint press conference.
During the Cold War, India didn’t have open relations with Israel, leaning heavily in favor of the Palestinians. But over the past quarter century, the countries have developed close ties in high-tech and defense.
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, left, walks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a welcome ceremony in Jerusalem Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Modi is on a high-profile visit to Israel aimed at celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations and strengthening his country’s already warm ties with the Jewish state. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Apart from meetings with Netanyahu, Modi will hold talks with tech companies and the local community of Indian Jews. He also said Wednesday he would pay respects to Indian soldiers buried in Haifa who died fighting in the British Army during World War I.
The packed schedule also included a visit Tuesday to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, but no meetings with Palestinian officials have been planned.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.