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India, Israel talks next week

November 14, 2004

NEW DELHI, Nov 13: The foreign ministries of India and Israel will hold consultations next week, the first such interaction after the United Progressive Alliance government took power in May , the Press Trust of India said on Saturday.

"We will take stock of our bilateral ties in the first chapter of the talks and look at ways to promote and advance various areas of cooperation. It will also seek to look for new projects, new ideas to further relations between the two countries", Mordechai Amichai, Director, Asia and Pacific Division, at the Israeli foreign ministry told PTI.

In two other chapters the talks would concentrate on regional and multilateral issues, Mr Amichai said. "We will exchange information, analysis and views concerning Middle East, the peace process, issues of regional importance like the situation in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon and, of course, the Israeli-Palestinian process, and would hear from India on the situation in South Asia," he said.

The third chapter will deal with global and multilateral issues such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the United Nations system, Mr Amichai said.

Some people here observed that India was among the few Third World countries that did not send a head of state or government to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's funeral.

India is set to import a range of sophisticated military equipment from Israel, including airborne radars and unmanned aircraft with deep surveillance capabilities.