Israeli satellite launch will not affect Indo-Arab ties : Israel

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New Delhi, Jan 23 (UNI) Israel has said the launching of its satellite by India will not have adverse impact on New Delhi's relations with the Arab world.

Mr Nimrod Barkan, Head of Israel's Foreign Ministry Center for Policy Research, who is here for discussions with Indian officials, said the launch would, instead, bring India and the Arab countries closer.

''Improved bilateral ties make India a much more interesting player for Arab countries. Otherwise they take you for granted,'' he said while speaking to some newspersons.

On January 21, India launched a sophisticated Israeli satellite, TECSAR, which could boost Tel Aviv's intelligence gathering capabilities regarding Iran and identify targets under adverse weather conditions.

The satellite, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was sent into orbit from Sriharikota using an Indian rocket.

The launching of the satellite has kicked up a domestic row and angered the Left allies of the government.

Political circles also believe that it could strain relations between India and Iran and India and the Arab world.

Mr Barkan said India could exercise its influence with the Arab world to promote peace in West Asia and strengthen the efforts of Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas post Annapolis Conference.

He appreciated India's role in Iranian nuclear imbroglio saying India has been more helpful in containing Iran's nuclear ambitions than China.

UNI RB SP HT1436

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