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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began the fifth day of his six-day India tour with a 'power breakfast' with a select group of Indian business leaders and CEOs. Later he joined Prime Minister Nerendra Modi at the India-Israel Business Summit hosted at the iconic Taj Hotel, one the sites hit by the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Later in the day, he accompanied 11-year-old Moshe Holtzberg at Mumbai's Nariman House and Chabad Center. Moshe's father Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and mother Rivka were killed by Islamic terrorists at the Nariman House in the 2008 terror attacks. During his July visit, Prime Minister Modi personally invited Moshe to visit India.

    Despite the recent diplomatic rift over India's vote against Israel in the UN General Assembly, the visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi got off to a promising start with both country's singing nine bilateral agreements -- ranging from transfer of agriculture technology to strategic defense cooperation.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to arrive in New Delhi on Sunday on a week-long visit, making him the second Israeli head of the government to visit India since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's 2003 visit. He will be leading a large business delegation and sign a series of bilateral agreements ranging from agriculture to cyber security. The visiting Israeli leader will spend a day in Prime Minister Modi's home state of Gujarat. This is being regarded as a rare distinction. So far, Prime Minister Modi accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his state, where he served as the Chief Minister between 2001 and 2014. Prime Minister Netanyahu is "going to get a grand welcome," Gujarat state's present Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.

    Almost a week after India's vote against the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a senior Palestinian diplomat got into hot water for publicly fraternizing with one of India's most wanted terrorist. Palestinian 'Ambassador' to Pakistan, Waleed Abu Ali, jointly addressed a rally with Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 164 people and injured 308. The rally hosted by an alliance of Islamic groups was held to condemn the US decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State. The event took place in the northern Pakistan city of Rawalpindi.

    Prior to the Brexit vote, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) lent fuel to the "remain" proponents' "Project Fear" by predicting economic gloom for the UK should voters choose "leave."  Their doom and gloom report assured the world that leaving the EU would plunge the UK into economic decline. Indeed, the Bank of England predicted, incorrectly as it's turned out, that a UK vote to leave the EU would lead to recession.  This didn't happen, and as I noted in 2016, the UK has no problem reaching trade agreements on its own.  Unfettered by the EU albatross, the UK economy is now expected—by the CEBR no less—to flourish.

    It was hailed as the reunion of friends when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came calling on a historic visit to Israel in July—the first ever by a sitting Indian head of government. Media pundits in both Israel and India talked of genuine bond of friendship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his visiting Indian counterpart. The visit was heralded as the beginning of a new era of trust and friendship between the two counties. But the reality check came earlier this week, when the Indian government threw Israel under the bus at the United Nations by voting in favor of a resolution condemning the US decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State.

    India's refusal to criticize President Donald Trump's decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has angered Arab regimes, the Reuters news agency reported. Several Arab embassies have asked India to "clarify its position on the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem." Dismissing Arab request, Indian Foreign Ministry said that it had "no plans for a further articulation on Jerusalem," news reports confirm.

    While Arab and Muslim leaders were calling for blood on the streets with 'new Intifada' and 'days of rage', and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders were lining up to join the chorus to condemn President Donald Trump for daring to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, leading Indian politicians such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist BJP party called the government follow US President's example and move the country's embassy to Jerusalem.

    This week, Israel welcomed 162 members of a Jewish community from India who regard themselves as one of the lost Israelite tribes. The new immigrants from the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram will be joining 1700 members of their community already living in the Jewish State. The Bnei Menashe, as this Jewish community from India is called, traces its ancestry to Menasseh, the son of the biblical Prophet Joseph.

    In what amounts to a significant policy shift, Indian public sector companies are bidding for Israeli offshore oil and gas fields. A consortium led by India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is seeking drilling rights in 24 offshore blocks in Israel’s Mediterranean waters, Indian and Israeli newspapers reported on Wednesday. Last month, India's Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan indicated his country's intention to bid for Israeli oil-and-gas blocks. According to Israeli media reports, a high-ranking Indian delegation visited Israel in September "to discuss taking part in the tender for blocks in the Mediterranean Sea and Israeli officials said they were pleased with the visit."

    Israel's elite Air Force instructors are training Indian Special forces, Israeli media reports confirm. Israel Defense Forces' Airborne Rescue and Evacuation Unit 669 is carrying out joint drills with Garud Commando Force, the Special Forces unit of the Indian Air Force. According to Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post, 16 Indian commandos are currently stationed at Nevatim and Palmahim air bases. These personnel are part of a 45-man delegation and a C-130J Super Hercules transport plane that are in Israel to take part in Blue Flag 2017, Israel's largest aerial drill ever, the newspaper added.

    One of the leading business schools in India, Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Management (IIM), has set up an 'Israel Center' on its campus with the aim to “bridge academic collaboration” between India and Israel. The center will carry out academic research, and promote faculty and student exchange programs between the two countries. "The Israel Centre at IIM Bangalore will lead to upgrading of academic collaboration between India and Israel, and will make our countries and economies stronger," said Israel's envoy to India Ambassador Daniel Carmon, at the inauguration ceremony on Sunday.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his plans to visiting India in January. The announcement comes less than four months after India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to Israel -- the first ever such visit by a sitting Indian head of the government. The visit will take place at a time when the bilateral relations between both countries are at an all-time high. The last Israeli Prime Minister to visit India was Ariel Sharon almost 14 years ago.

    India wants to strengthen ties with Israeli start ups, a visiting delegation of Indian IT companies to the Jewish State stressed. The delegation was organised by Nasscom, Indian association representing software companies, and the global consulting firm Accenture. "The Nasscom Product Council and IT consulting major Accenture plan to collaborate with Israel Innovation Authority to help startups from both countries in joint product development, knowledge transfer and in the creation of hardware ecosystem," Indian business daily Economic Times reported.

    Eliminating Islamist terrorism was high on the agenda when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Washington three months ago. “We will destroy radical Islamic terrorism,” President Donald Trump had said in his joint statement with Premier Modi. Last night, President Trump told India to take concrete steps in the region towards that final goal. President Trump’s speech outlining the new strategy in Afghanistan received wide support and approval in India. "India welcomes Trump's South Asia policy," India’s leading newspaper Times of India commented:
    India today welcomed US President Donald Trump's determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confront issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists.

    While the American Press has been navel-gazing after the Charlottesville violence, there has perhaps been a more significant clash on the other side of the world that seems...under-reported. This weekend, I noted that India’s military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, as the nations have been embroiled in a two-month confrontation on the Doklam plateau (claimed by both China and India’s ally, Bhutan).

    Last month, we reported that a territorial dispute along the China-India border is threatening to turn into a military conflict. Now, while the world's attention is focused on North Korea, India has increased its alert level amid increased tension with China.
    India's military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, sources said, as neither side shows any sign of backing off from a face-off in a remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.

    A territorial dispute along the China-India border is threatening to turn into a military conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations. The area under dispute is located near the ‘Bhutan tri-junction’, where the borders of China, India, and the tiny Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan meet. The Chinese envoy to New Delhi described the latest standoff as "the most serious confrontation between the two nations in more than 30 years," Chinese daily South China Morning reported China and India fought a war in 1962 over similar border disputes, which ended in a devastating defeat for India. Almost 55 years later, and two Asian giants continue facing off each other along a three thousand kilometre-long contested mountainous border.
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