Mangalore, July 28: Zionist representative and Consul General of Israel Orna Sagiv will be visiting coastal city of Mangalore in the month-end.
She is expected to deliver talk on '20 years of Indo-Israel diplomatic relations’ at Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Exim Facilitation Centre here on July 31.
After decades of non-aligned and pro-Arab policy, India formally had established relations with Israel in January 1992 and ties between the two nations have flourished since, primarily due to common strategic interests and security threats.
On a diplomatic level, both the countries have managed to maintain healthy relations despite India's repeated strong condemnations of Israeli military actions in Palestinian territories, which are believed by analysts to be motivated by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's desire for Muslim votes in India.
Moreover, India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after the Russian Federation. As of 2009, the military business between the two nations is worth around US$9 billion. Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to joint military training and space technology. India is Israel's largest defense market, accounting for almost fifty percent of Israeli sales.
India is also the second-largest Asian economic partner of Israel. In 2010, bilateral trade, excluding military sales, stood at US$4.7 billion.
Currently, the two nations are negotiating an extensive bilateral free trade pact, focusing on areas such as information technology, biotechnology and agriculture.