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Defence deal with Israel back on table

Rafael missile deal with Israel may still go through via a different route

Netanyahu will be leading a high-profile delegation comprising 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies drawn from areas like agriculture, water, cybersecurity, healthcare and security. He reminded that his country was among few which had cosponsored and helped Indian nominee Justice Dalveer Bhandari to get elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The visit comes less than a month after New Delhi voted in the UN General Assembly against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Well, I would have preferred a different vote, to be frank, but I don't think it materially changes the tremendous flowering of relations between India and Israel", Mr Netanyahu said on Thursday.

"We always want all the worldwide community to vote with us, we are not very happy when some in the global community do not", Carmon said.

Israel and India also differ on China: Israel has welcomed the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative sponsored by China and is eager to participate in the development of networks in the region. "We can not always fulfil those requests", he said.

The Israeli Prime Minister is also scheduled to call on Indian President Ramnath Kovind and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, following which he will visit Agra, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai.

"India imports critical defence technologies from Israel". He hinted that New Delhi was reconsidering buying the missiles through government to government route.

Another major highlight of Netanyahu's visit will be his participation in this year's Raisina Dialogue, India's flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics.

The Ambassador described innovation as a "cross-cutting issue" and said this would be reflected in the discussions between Modi and Netanyahu.

PM Modi had received a rousing welcome during his visit to the Jewish state in July past year when PM Netanyahu, who referred to the Indian leader as his "dear friend", had received him at the airport and spent the next three days by his side.

The "road show" is said to be an 8-kilometre drive from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram.

"It's no secret that the two leaders enjoy very clear chemistry, good and intimate relations", Cohen said.

On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a power Breakfast with Indian CEOs and attend a business seminar. The government is pulling strings to ensure presence of top producers and directors of Bollywood.

Foretelling the growth in trilateral ties that have occurred over the last 15 years, he declared: "India, the Unites States and Israel have some fundamental similarities". Sources said Netanyahu will appeal to Bollywood to come and shoot films in Israel, and offer tax breaks and facilitation.