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NEW DELHI : Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar will be visiting Israel over the weekend to shore up ties between the two strategic partners. “We are excited to receive @DrSJaishankar in Israel," said a Twitter post from Naor Gilon, Israel’s ambassador to India.

“Shubho Bijoya/Happy Dussehra to all of you, on the eve of @DrSJaishankar’s important visit to Israel. India is a strategic partner and a very close friend," said a post from Alon Ushpiz, director general of the Israeli foreign ministry and a former ambassador to India.

The Indian foreign ministry is yet to announce the visit.

Ties between India and Israel have grown steadily since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1992. Relations were boosted further when India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to delink India-Israel ties from India-Palestinian ties. Modi paid a standalone visit to Israel in July 2017, the first by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish nation. In 2018, he visited Palestine in another standalone visit that showed the dehyphenation in India’s ties with the two countries.

Cooperation between the two countries spans a wide spectrum—from agriculture and innovation to defence and security. Bilateral trade was about $5 billion in 2020-21, according to a note on the Indian foreign ministry website.

India is Israel's third largest trade partner in Asia and seventh largest globally. In recent years, bilateral trade has diversified into several sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, water, IT and telecom. Major exports from India to Israel include precious stones and metals, chemical products and textiles and textile articles, the Indian foreign ministry note said. Major imports by India from Israel include precious stones and metals, chemicals and mineral products, base metals and machinery and transport equipment, it added.

Indian software companies—TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, and Wipro are expanding their presence in Israel.

“Israeli companies have invested in India in renewable energy, real estate, water technologies and are also setting up R&D centres and production units in India," the Indian foreign ministry note added.

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