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Terrorism, climate change on Mukherjee’s agenda for talks with Israel

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Jerusalem: Terrorism and climate change will be among the prominent areas during President Pranab Mukherjee’s talks with the Israeli leadership on Wednesday, as the two sides seek to take their ties to a new level with collaborations in a host of subjects.

The president will meet his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day and also address the Knesset, the country’s parliament.

Ahead of the meetings, Mukherjee listed the growing menace of terrorism and extremism, climate change and reforms in global governance as areas where he was keen to discuss with President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“I will seek the assessment of the Israeli leadership about recent developments in the region which have caused concern all over the world and have direct implications for India,” Mukherjee said.

“We are disturbed at the recent violence. India condemns all forms of violence. We have always sought a peaceful resolution of disputes,” the president said.

The remarks, made soon after he was accorded a ceremonial welcome here on Wednesday morning, come against the backdrop of both Israel and Palestine blaming the other for the recent escalation in conflict, which is claiming lives of the nationals of both countries.

The remarks assume greater significance as the president arrived here after visiting Palestine on Tuesday evening, where the leaders wanted New Delhi to strongly take up the issue with the Israelis.

In fact, Mukherjee — during his various engagements in Palestine — had assured India’s full support for the country’s cause, including a separate statehood with East Jerusalem as the capital.

On more than one occasion, he said such support was initiated when India became independent in 1947 and continues even today.

But the Israeli side has been equally concerned that the Indian president did not raise the issue of violence with Palestine from their perspective.

Other areas Mukherjee listed for talks included cooperations in agriculture, defence, education, research, science and cyber security.

“We are also discovering and identifying new areas of complementarities where there is significant potential to be realised. We agree that there are tremendous opportunities for mutually-beneficial collaboration,” Mukherjee said.

(By Arvind Padmanabhan, IANS)

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Israel Warns Iran, Hints Towards a War in Middle East

In an Israel Radio interview, former general Yisrael Zeev said Netanyahu appears to be preparing the nation for war.

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He said Israel may have to launch a preemptive strike against Iranian assets in Syria, prompting Iran and its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon to fire missiles into Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu, PM of Israel, wikimedia commons

A tough new warning from Israel to Iran is raising fears of war in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to confront Iranian “aggression” sooner rather than later.

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu accused Iran of transferring advanced weapons to neighboring Syria, including missiles and anti-aircraft batteries it intends to use against Israel.

“We do not want an escalation,” Netanyahu said, “but we are prepared for any scenario.”

The tough rhetoric follows a presentation on national TV a week ago, in which Netanyahu exposed what he said were tens thousands of documents proving that Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program which could be quickly revived at any time.

A tough new warning from Israel to Iran is raising fears of war in the Middle East.
Israel Flag, Pixabay

The files, which were seized in Tehran by Israeli intelligence, could reinforce threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal by May 12. The three European countries that signed the agreement, Britain, France and Germany, have tried to persuade Trump not to withdraw.

In an Israel Radio interview, former general Yisrael Zeev said Netanyahu appears to be preparing the nation for war.

He said Israel may have to launch a preemptive strike against Iranian assets in Syria, prompting Iran and its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon to fire missiles into Israel.

Also Read: Haspel, Trump’s Choice For CIA Director, Withdraws Her Name

Netanyahu will visit Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the situation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the main power broker in Syria. Putin will no doubt urge Netanyahu to act with restraint.

But Netanyahu told the Cabinet that Israel must learn from history. He said nations that were not prepared to take timely action against aggression paid a much higher price later on. (VOA)