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Singla as new envoy marks high-profile Indo-Israeli ties

Friday - July 19, 2019 8:30 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The appointment of senior diplomat Sanjeev Kumar Singla as India's next ambassador to Israel indicates the importance the Modi government attaches to close ties with Tel Aviv.
Singla, an Indian Foreign Service officer of 1997 batch, was serving in the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv in 2014 when he was called back to India to serve as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Private Secretary.
His return to Israel after five years, as ambassador this time, is significant in view of the warmth in ties shared between the two countries.
On Friday, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister approved Singla's appointment. The order was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Singla replaces Pavan Kapoor as envoy to Israel.
Singla had earlier worked as Director to then Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.
According to Israeli media reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who failed to form a coalition after the April polls, plans to visit India ahead of the repeat elections in early September.
Netanyahu and Modi share warm relations, and they often refer to each other as "my friend" on Twitter.
The Israeli Prime Minister, who had earlier planned to visit India in February, had to cancel at the last minute. The two leaders have not met since Netanyahu visited India in January 2018.
In close defence ties, an Israeli arms company has inked a $100 million deal with the Indian Army and Air Force, under which 1,000 missile kits will be transferred to India, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems - an Israeli company which manufactures weapons for the Israeli Army - signed the contract with Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS) for $100 million. The deal will see 1,000 Barak 8/MRSAM missile kits manufactured for the Indian Army and Air Force, the Post report said.

--IANS rn/kr