Seminar on Indo-Israeli Perspective on Regional and Global Security
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VIF, in collaboration with the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, held a joint seminar ‘Indo-Israeli Perspectives on Regional and Global Security’ on 20 Jan 2015. The conference highlighted perspectives of the two countries across a wide spectrum of issues, including situation in the Af-Pak region and West Asia, threats of global terrorism, and security and defence cooperation between India and Israel. The Israeli delegation comprised an impressive array of security experts - Amb Dore Gold, President Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Col. (Dr.) Jacques Neriah, Foreign Policy Advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Shimon Shapira, former Military Attaché to Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Amb Alan Baker, Director Institute for Contemporary Affairs, Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, and representatives from Embassy of Israel in India. With General NC Vij, former Chief of the Indian Army and current Director VIF, presiding over the event, formal presentations were made among others by C.D. Sahay, former Secretary RAW, Gen. Ravi Sawhney, former Deputy Army Chief and DGMI, Lt. Gen. Ata Hasnain, former Corps Commander in Kashmir, Lt. Gen. JP Singh, former Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Amb. Sanjay Singh, and Sushant Sareen, Senior Fellow VIF.
Besides, Shekhar Dutt, former Governor Chhattisgarh, Amb Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary of India, Amb Rajiv Sikri, Amb PP Shukla, Amb Sanjay Singh and Amb Arundhati Ghosh were among other prominent attendees who made important contributions and interventions during the conference.

The seminar was essentially aimed at finding ways to broaden the scope for strategic cooperation between India and Israel, two countries sharing common values and common threats, each surrounded by regions of instability. In their opening remarks, all three speakers – Directors of the two think tanks and Israel’s deputy chief of mission in India Yahel Vilan, who accompanied the delegation, expressed their satisfaction at the upward trajectory in bilateral relations since the formalization of diplomatic ties between India and Israel in 1992. Lauding Israel’s contributions towards India’s defence modernization, Director VIF said Indo-Israeli partnership has stood the test of time, while Yahel Vilan said Indo-Israeli relationship runs deeper than seller-buyer relationship as it is based on shared values.Both agreed that bilateral relationship needs to be more broad-based, scaling into new areas of cooperation - research and development, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, cyber defence, and intelligence sharing, among others. Amb Dore Gold, however, said both countries can tremendously benefit by sharing knowledge and perspectives across a much wider domain, including trade, technology and international order. The political aspect of the relationship was another significant takeaway from the presentations of both the speakers.

The seminar was held over four sessions and each session provided useful insights to the participants. It was evident from the discussions that global and regional imperatives, especially the rise of terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda and ISIS along with changing international order, require closer cooperation between India and Israel. At the end of seminar, the two institutions signed and exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), expressing intent to carry out joint studies in further bilateral cooperation.

Event Date 
January 20, 2015
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