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India, Israel to deepen military cooperation amid border row

Defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke with his Israeli counterpart Lieutenant General Benjamin Gantz over telephone with strengthening bilateral defence ties being the focus of the conversation, at a time India is making emergency military purchases from several countries including Israel to bolster the military’s capabilities amid border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh.

“Both ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress of strategic cooperation between the two countries and discussed possibilities of further strengthening defence engagements,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

Singh updated Gantz on the situation along the contested Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, where Indian and China have lately failed to make a breakthrough in reducing border tensions despite intense negotiations at the military and diplomatic levels, and the disengagement process at some friction points has virtually stopped, people familiar with the developments said.

The border conflict with China has forced India to speed up the purchase of military hardware including fighter jets, smart air-to-ground weapons, missiles, rockets, multi-mission drones, air defence systems, GPS-guided artillery ammunition, tank ammunition and even assault rifles.