Ahead of visit, Netanyahu says he's hopeful of expanding ties with India

UN vote set aside stage set for Narendra Modi Benjamin Netanyahu tango

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. Carmon maintained that his country would have preferred a different vote, but said, "I don't think it materially changes the tremendous flowering of relations between India and Israel".

"My father secured 20 billion dollars for your father, and you're arguing with me about 400 shekels?"

Describing the backdrop of votes at the United Nations as "dynamic" and the United Nations itself as "a vibrant theatre where many things are happening", Carmon said "If the question is, will it influence the relationship, I don't think it can influence the relationship".

India's defence ministry announced last week that it would buy 131 surface-to-air missiles from Israel.

Also in PM Netanyahu's delegation will be the head of the Rafael Advanced Defence Systems that lost out on $500-million deal to purchase Spike anti-tank guided missiles. Netanyahu will lead an Israeli trade delegation comprised of some 130 business leaders to negotiate defense deals.

Cohen declined to answer questions on the subject in his briefing to journalists in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Last week, the Israeli firm said it received an official notification from Indias Ministry of Defence about cancellation of the deal.

"I do not want to elaborate on defence issues". Israel is a major seller of weaponry to India, about $1 billion annually.

In April last year the two countries signed a military deal worth almost $2 billion which includes the supply over several years of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology.

Netanyahu's January 14-19 visit to the country comes six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic trip to Israel past year.

"Former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, former prime minister of Canada Stephen Harder and former prime minister of Sweden Carl Bildt are among more than 150 speakers and over 550 delegates from around 90 countries who are participating in the dialogue", it said. The MEA said Modi and Netanyahu will hold talks to deepen the "very very special relationship".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have another road show from the airport in Ahmedabad next week, this one with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his side in an open-top Gypsy decorated with flowers for the nine-km ride to Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati ashram.

On January 14, Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will we visiting India, making it the second visit by any Israeli prime minister to India, after Ariel Sharon.

This will be followed by Netanyahu's engagement with Bollywood at an event titled Shalom Bollywood, at which he will meet personalities from Indian cinema and plead with them to shoot their films in Israel.

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