NEW DELHI, India — India’s vote at the United Nations condemning the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel won’t harm ties, an Indian official said Monday.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed that the relations between the countries “are not determined by a single issue,” Indian Foreign Ministry economic relations secretary Vijay Gokhale said following talks between the two leaders.
India’s vote at the UN last month had been a possible spoiler in the highly touted visit by Netanyahu to India this week, undercutting a close relationship on display with Modi and the signing of a raft of economic agreements Monday.
A spokesperson for Netanyahu did not say if the two had discussed the vote during their approximately two-hour-long meeting and lunch Monday.
A joint statement published by Delhi after the meeting only briefly mentioned the two discussing the need to quickly restart peace talks.
Over the weekend, Netanyahu told India Today magazine in an interview that while Israel was “disappointed” by India’s vote, the relationship between Tel Aviv and New Delhi remained strong.
“Yes, naturally we were disappointed, but this visit is a testimony that our relationship is moving on so many fronts forward,” he said.
On Monday, Netanyahu hailed a “new era” in ties with India as he signed a slew of economic deals.
“We are ushering today a new era in our relations,” Netanyahu said after talks with Modi. “We have had diplomatic relations for 25 years, but something different is happening now because of your leadership and our partnership.”
I arrived in India with the biggest delegation of business leaders that has ever joined an Israeli PM on an official visit. The goal: to deepen the economic ties between India and Israel. Prime Minister @narendramodi, thank you for believing in Israel just as we believe in India. pic.twitter.com/dsizuIBtFC
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 15, 2018
Netanyahu arrived in India Sunday accompanied by the largest-ever business delegation to travel with an Israeli leader, including technology, agriculture and defense executives.
The prime minister’s schedule includes a visit to Agra, to visit the Taj Mahal, and to Gujarat, prime minister Modi’s home state. He will also visit India’s business capital, Mumbai, where apart from meeting business leaders he is also slated to meet with the leaders of the country’s tiny Jewish community.
Agencies contributed to this report.