Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed ways India can contribute to the Abraham Accords, during Cohen’s visit to Delhi on Tuesday.
Cohen was the first foreign minister in 19 years to visit India.
“India as a world power, the most populous country and the fifth-largest economy in the world, can play a central role in advancing the Abraham Accords and connecting Israel’s economy to moderate states in the Middle East,” Cohen said.
Modi and Cohen spoke about new economic opportunities thanks to the Abraham Accords, the 2020 normalization between Israel and three Arab states, as well as Saudi Arabia’s agreement that year for flights between Israel and India to enter their airspace, significantly shortening travel time.
In an earlier meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Cohen said that “India can play a significant role in expanding the Abraham Accords and advancing regional projects with countries with which Israel still does not have relations. This connection shortens the path between Asia and Europe and turns Israel into a hub for trade, technology and transportation by changing trade routes in the Middle East.”
Other discussions held
The foreign minister said that he and Modi also discussed advancing a free trade agreement between their countries.
Trade between Israel and India was $10 billion in 2022.
“Modi is one of the central factors in Israel-India relations being the closest and strongest they have been since relations were established in 1992,” Cohen stated.
Cohen ended his trip to India early in light of Operation Shield and Arrow, returning to Israel immediately after his meeting with Modi.
In the meeting, he told Modi about the operation and emphasized the importance of fighting terrorism.During his meeting with Jaishankar, the foreign ministers signed agreements allowing 34,000 construction workers and 8,000 home aides from India to work in Israel. Cohen said the additional workers will help lower the cost of living in Israel.