India calls off deal with Israel

JERUSALEM: India’s Ministry of Defense has called off an order to buy Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel’s state-owned defense contractor Rafael, the company said yesterday. The deal was worth about $500 million and the announcement of its termination came just a couple of weeks before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to visit India. Indian officials had no immediate comment.

The countries have grown closer since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rose to power in 2014, broadening commercial cooperation beyond their long-standing defense ties. Modi became the first sitting Indian prime minister to visit Israel last summer, and Netanyahu will fly to India on Jan 14. “Rafael regrets the decision and remains committed to cooperating with the Indian Ministry of Defense and to its strategy of continuing to work in India, an important market, as it has for more than two decades, to provide India with the most advanced and innovative systems,” the company said.

This article was published on 03/01/2018