Indian police inspect bombed car in New Delhi 390 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma)
India’s military chief is expected to visit Israel despite a decision by the
Indian government to cancel his trip this month, The Jerusalem Post has
The Indian Daily News and Analysis (DNA) news website said
Thursday that Gen. V.K. Singh was scheduled to arrive in Israel between
March 16 and 18 to discuss the growing defense cooperation between the two
countries, but that the visit was canceled due to soaring tensions with
Nevertheless, defense officials in Israel believe the visit will
still go ahead on a future date.
In explaining this month’s cancellation,
DNA quoted an Indian Defense Ministry official as saying, “The situation in
Israel is not favorable for the general’s visit with war clouds gathering over
Iran, especially after the recent attacks on Israeli diplomats in foreign
countries, including in India.”
“During this period, [the] army chief’s
official visit to Israel could send wrong signals to Iran. And it might create
unnecessary misunderstanding,” the reported continued.
Defense Minister M.M. Pallam Raju cited a different reason for the cancellation,
saying “instability in Syria” was the cause, according to the
India is the second largest importer of Iranian oil (after
China), with 300,000 barrels arriving every day. The US is applying heavy
pressure on India to reduce its dependency on Iranian oil, so far to no
At the same time, New Delhi and Jerusalem moved closer over the
past decade, and Israel has become the second largest exporter of defense
products to India, after Russia.
More than $10 billion in defense
contracts have been signed between Israel and India since 1999, DNA said.