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Israel: Gantz puts off planned visit to India

ARLINGTON, VA - DECEMBER 09: Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Benny Gantz meets U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (not seen) at the Pentagon on December 9, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. ( Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency )
Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Benny Gantz, 9 December 2021 in Virginia, US [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has put off a planned official visit to India, his office announced on Monday. The reason cited was the recent killing of two Israeli Border Police officers in the Negev.

However, Israeli media attributed the postponement of Gant's visit to New Delhi to disputes with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The visit should have started on Tuesday and was intended to mark 30 years of Israel-India defence relations. It would have included discussions between Gantz and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh.

According to the Jewish News Syndicate, the discussions would have concentrated on "expanding and deepening cooperation" between the Israeli and Indian defence establishments.

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post said that Gantz's visit to India would have pre-empted Bennett's own trip. This was interpreted widely as part of ongoing disagreements between them. Bennett, it added, had already blocked Gantz from taking part in a summit with Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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