Israeli-Indian Defense Accord Expected Soon
India and Israel are preparing to sign a defense industrial accord that would allow for a wide range of military projects, reported the Middle East Newsline (MENL) on Thursday.
India's secretary of defense for production, Subir Datta, arrived over the weekend for a visit to Israel and has met his counterparts at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv as well as defense executives.
"We expect something over the next few days," an official said, adding that "at this point, nothing has been signed."
The agreement would allow the state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and its Indian counterpart, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., to compete for Indian military projects, said MENL.
Currently, Israeli companies do not have any formal ties with the state-owned Indian industry.
India is negotiating with Israel for a range of defense systems. These include the Phalcon airborne early-warning systems.
New Dehli is said to be considering three such systems.
The Indian-Israeli military cooperation may spark criticism from Arab countries, which last month expressed “deep concern” over the military and security cooperation between India and Israel.
The Arab League sent in mid-June a memorandum to the Indian government, saying that the existing cooperation between India and Israel could “create tensions in the Middle East.”
The Arab League cautioned India to take into consideration its existing commercial interests with Arab countries, which will “reconsider” their relations with India if its military and security cooperation continues with the Jewish state, according to the memorandum.
India and Israel established full diplomatic relations in January 1992.
A similar Arab League warning to India was sent last year in protest of visits to Tel Aviv by Indian Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh in June.
Earlier last year, Israel sold an advanced electronic warfare system to India despite US objections – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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