Israeli security chief visits India, flying over Saudi Arabia

Meir Ben-Shabbat flew on an Air India flight which entered Saudi airspace as part of the flight trajectory.

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January 17, 2019 18:19
Israeli security chief visits India, flying over Saudi Arabia

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves upon his arrival to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) in Ramallah, in the West Bank February 10, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

 
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Head of National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat returned to Israel after holding a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Ben-Shabbat flew on an Air India flight which entered Saudi airspace as part of the flight's trajectory, Netanyahu's office said.

Netanyahu and Modi met twice in the past two years, Netanyahu visited India in January 2018 and Modi visited Israel in the summer of 2017.

Both visits were warmly covered in both Indian and Israeli media, marking a zenith in the close relationship between the two nations.

When Netanyahu visited India in 2018 Ben-Shabbat reportedly met Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval about a missile deal worth half a billion dollars involving the Indian Ministry of Defense and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Postponed in 2014, the deal seems to have exposed a difference of opinion in Indian national defense circles between those eager to acquire Israeli technology and weapons and those who prefer for India to develop its own technology, in time.

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