Nepal quake: India-Israel cement ties at Kathmandu as China stares

Thursday, Apr 30, 2015,18:03 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi, Apr 30 | Bonhomie and level of cooperation between India and Israel during ongoing relief and rescue mission in the aftermath of devastating earthquake in Nepal can hardly go unnoticed with both strategic partners having completely outsmarted China, which is trying hard to remain in competition.
The humanitarian assistance efforts launched by various countries in the Himalayan Nation have turned into a diplomatic race for gaining foothold in this strategically located terrain, which is considered the last remaining buffer between India and China after the accession of the Tibet Autonomous Region by Beijing.
Answering the need of humanitarian aid, Israeli planes carrying emergency supplies landed in Nepal with India granting the Israeli planes to pass its airspace on the way to Kathmandu. These were two 747 Israeli government chartered El Al planes, two C130J and one 707 Israeli Air Force plane. The safe arrival of these planes in Kathmandu witnessed the effective ongoing cooperation of India and Israel, a statement issued by the Israeli embassy said.
Israeli government and missions in Kathmandu and Delhi are also working with authorities in Nepal and India to locate and rescue Israelis affected by the earthquake in Nepal. At this time there are some 200 Israelis in the Chabad House and the Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu and some 100 in remotes areas.
To keep itself in the reckoning, the Chinese airforce has dispatched 4 IL-76 transportation planes to quake-stricken Nepal.
According to the Chinese media reports, two of the aircraft were stationed at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in Sichuan province and another at Kunming Changshui International Airport.
China has also sent  two teams of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to Kathmandu. The 100 Chinese soldiers have landed along with four sniffer dogs, five recovery vehicles and rescue equipment, including life detectors and entry tools.
Pakistan too swung into action and has dispatched four cargo planes with relief material, including concrete cutters and sniffer dogs.
China and Pakistan were little late in sending their ‘rescuers’ as India had already launched a massive relief and rescue operation codenamed as ‘Op Maitry’, putting large number of aviation assets, humanitarian teams, medical teams and engineering experts with loads of food and other relief material to help Nepal emerge out of the worst crisis in 80 years.
The Indian Air Force has deployed 13 aircraft and more than 500 rescuers along with water, food, equipment and medical supplies. China, increasingly making inroads in Nepal has also pledged all-out assistance within hours of the disaster. It has sent 62 rescuers plus blankets, tents and generators and announced plans to send four planes and an additional 170 soldiers.
As the diplomatic aid is still continuing, the Indian Army has declared unhindered commitment to Nepal, till the situation is back to normal.
Building on the closer ties, Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon, called on BJP president Amit Shah yesterday.
Mr  Shah was interested to hear about the ongoing Israeli Rescue and Humanitarian Operations in Nepal, following the devastating earthquake, and has expressed his appreciation to the Israeli fast and efficient response, the statement issued by the Israeli mission said, after the meeting.
The Israeli envoy thanked the Indian government for its help in facilitating the arrival of the Israeli rescue missions to Nepal as well as its assistance in locating and evacuating Israelis tourists, stranded in remote mountainous areas.