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Israel and India signed a new inter-governmental agreement, another step in the tightening of relations between the two countries.

Israeli Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis, on a state visit to New Delhi, met Tuesday with his Indian counterpart, Harsh Vardhan.

The ministers signed a scientific collaboration agreement between Israel and India under which each country will appropriate $1 million for joint research ventures in 2017.

Additionally, the nations will promote joint projects by young scientists and seek to empower female scientists.

“We are expanding our cooperation in many fields, including science, technology, and innovation,” Akunis said at the signing ceremony in New Delhi.

Vardhan said India has much to learn from Israel, which he called “a relatively small country with significant capabilities.”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited India in November for an eight-day state visit to boost ties between Jerusalem and New Delhi.

“I have no doubt that my visit here will help the ties and the cooperation between our two peoples grow stronger in security and our ability to keep our people safe, in agriculture, in water, in technology, in culture and in education,” Rivlin stated during the trip.

Relations Growing Closer

Israel and India’s relations have warmed up considerably in recent years, especially since Narendra Modi took office.

Prime Ministers Netanyahu and Modi met at the UN in September 2014, the first such meeting in over a decade.

“We’re very excited by the prospects of greater and greater ties with India. We think the sky is the limit,” Netanyahu stated after their meeting.

Israel and India enjoy the sharing of technological development, and India is one of Israel’s biggest clients in the defense technologies market.

The two governments regularly arrange work visits that include meetings with industrialists and businessmen, exchanges of academic and political delegations, artists, scholars and more. Bilateral consultations between the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are held annually, alternately in Jerusalem and New Delhi, since 1999.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff