Fri, 23 Jun 2000

Seeking Israel's help

Unlike many other ministerial visits abroad, the Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani's mission to Israel was clearly focussed. The very composition of his delegation gave a clear message. Heads of the intelligence and investigative agencies and the Home Secretary were part of the team that toured Israel to assess what Tel Aviv had to offer to India in its continuing fight against terrorism and insurgency.

Obviously, Israel has a lot to offer and has acquired considerable expertise and experience in dealing with similar problems, with quite some success. Its very survival, despite frequent violence and explosions, depends on its ability to counter terrorist threats.

Renewing diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992 was a well- thought-out strategy and when the Arab world was itself trying to make peace with Israel, it made no sense for countries like India to remain cut off from Tel Aviv. In the post-Cold War era, the focus clearly shifted to economic cooperation and building a new world order. India and Israel can work together in countering the pressures from the nuclear powers and seeing this period of transition through, besides enhancing cooperation for peace and security. International terrorism, Interpol and Scotland Yard will receive top billing during Mr. Advani's visit to France and Britain.

-- The Hindu, New Delhi