Modi meets Peres, discuses counter-terrorism
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday met former Israeli president Shimon Peres and discussed bilateral cooperation in various fields, including counter-terrorism, infrastructure, water, agriculture, health and science and technology.
Modi lauded the immense contribution of Peres to the world polity and development of India-Israel relations, a Prime Minister's Office (PMO) release said here.
"The prime minister said that it was a great honour for him to meet Shimon Peres, whose life was a source of inspiration for the entire world," the release said.
Peres said that Israel sees India as its "elder sister" and termed Modi "a world leader, a true partner confronting global challenges, and a friend of Israel".
Peres also said that Modi was leading a "third revolution" following the steps of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and leading India and its people to a better future.
The prime minister recalled his visit to Israel as Gujarat chief minister, following which he had promoted the use of drip irrigation in the state and also set up an incubation centre to support start-up companies with Israeli collaboration.
"The prime minister reiterated the strong desire of India to further expand and strengthen its relations with Israel both in traditional areas as well as in new areas of cooperation," the PMO release said.
Modi said he was impressed by Israel and its achievements and that India values Israel's contribution in developing advanced technologies. Modi said Israel combines innovation, creativity and courage that had brought solutions in various fields to India and to many other countries around the world.
Modi also mentioned that the Indian Jews who had emigrated to Israel form a special link between both nations.
Peres congratulated the prime minister on his victory in the elections.
He expressed deep appreciation for the ambitious programmes launched by Modi for India's economic and social transformation which, he said, struck the right balance between respect for tradition and use of modern technology.
The former Israeli president said India's development and growth will be beneficial to the entire world. He conveyed Israel's readiness to partner with India in its development efforts and in this context called for greater collaboration in the areas of new and higher technologies.
An Israel embassy release said that the two leaders discussed various ways for cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism, infrastructure, water, agriculture, health, science and technology.
"I found in PM Modi a World Leader, a true partner confronting global challenges, and a friend of Israel," Peres said.
On the issue of counter-terrorism, Peres said that a way to pre-empt terror should be found and the next generations should be educated against hate and incitement.
"Terror is a common challenge to both Israel and India. We must fight those extremists who target innocent civilians in the name of religion," Peres said.
The release said that Modi and Peres discussed the joint Israeli-Indian-Australian project of food and water security to be launched Friday.
Peres said Israel had successfully created a strong agriculture sector, water infrastructure and capabilities and some of the most advanced medical technologies in the world.
"We would like to continue our close partnership and cooperation with India, share the knowledge and experience both countries have for the future and prosperity of both our people," he said.