Netanyahu and Modi launch joint venture with Israeli and Indian CEOs
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with leaders from top Israeli and Indian companies on Thursday in order to launch a joint CEO forum.
The meeting was held on the last day of Modi’s historic visit to the region, marking the first time an Indian Prime Minister has ever visited Israel.
Netanyahu and Modi held a celebratory lunch with the CEOs and then visited an innovation exhibit which included presentations by six Israeli companies and four Indian companies.
“We are making a partnership here, a real one, to excel in innovation for both our peoples and for the entire world,” Netanyahu said. “I think this partnership has… We already agreed that the sky is not the limit because we're doing it in space, but I think that the talents that we have in India and Israel are amazing and the possibilities are amazing.”
Modi and Netanyahu have sought to extend Indian-Israeli cooperation beyond the billions of dollars in defense deals between them during the three-day visit.
The two leaders presented a series of agreements for cooperation on satellite technology, water and agriculture, as well as the creation of a $40 million innovation fund.
Israel already sells India an average of $1 billion per year in military equipment. The country has also excelled at water and agriculture technology, which India has shown an interest in.
Modi's visit marks 25 years since India and Israel established diplomatic relations.
A beach stroll by Modi and Netanyahu caused online waves earlier on Thursday, with the two men seen wading barefoot into the surf together.
They had gone to the beach to see a demonstration of a mobile water desalination unit.
It was closed to journalists, but images and video were distributed by the Israeli government showing the two men walking together into the water barefoot at Olga beach in northern Israel.
Some on social media took Netanyahu to task for not sufficiently rolling his pant legs, with the images showing them getting wet. Others joked about a budding "bromance".
They later drove together in the mobile water desalination unit -- which looked like a dune buggy -- and sipped samples from wine glasses, even toasting before they did.
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