New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday left for Israel on a two-day visit, becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit the middle-east country.
People of both the countries are expecting that the historic visit of the prime minister will give a fillip to the bilateral ties.
On the eve of his visit to Israel, Modi on Monday said he will discuss with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu the common challenges like terrorism and ways to boost the economic ties.
Modi had described India’s ties with Israel as “special” and had said that his visit would “lead to further cementing” of bilateral ties and cooperation in key areas, including counter-terrorism.
Modi was quoted by news agencies as saying that his visit was “based on the deep centuries-old connection between our two people.
He said, “I share the opinion of many of my people, who see Israel as a beacon of technology, as a country that has managed to survive even though the odds were against it.”
In Israel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also meet President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and address the CEOs of the two countries as well as the Indian diaspora.
Modi will also visit the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum in Jerusalem and also pay tribute to Indian soldiers who died liberating Haifa in 1918.
"Tomorrow (Tuesday), I begin a historic visit to Israel, a very special partner of India's... As the first Indian prime minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer," Modi said.
Modi also professed his anticipation on Twitter, "I look forward to holding extensive talks with my friend, @IsraeliPM @netanyahu, who shares a commitment for vibrant India-Israel ties."
The prime minister said he will have "in-depth talks" with Netanyahu "on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit. We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism."
From boosting economic ties to furthering people-to-people interactions, my Israel visit has a wide range of programmes.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 3, 2017
Israel Ambassador to India, Danny Carmon said that Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a four-hour meeting on Wednesday, which will include a ‘working lunch’.
During the bilateral meeting, the two leaders are expected to talk on setting up joint strategic partnerships on agriculture and water, among other areas of cooperation.
Carmon added that Israel is also seeking cooperation in the field of space technology.
This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of their diplomatic relations. "My programme during the visit gives me an opportunity to engage with a cross-section of Israeli society. I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two peoples," Modi said.
On the economic side, he said, "I will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and start-ups to discuss our shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground."
In addition, he said, "I hope to get insights into Israel's accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits."
India has acquired weaponry worth billions of dollars from Israel in the past decade.
The two countries will sign agreements to deepen cooperation on state-of-the-art technologies in the space sector. India will also be opening a cultural centre in Israel, the announcement regarding which is to be made during Modi’s visit.
On July 6, the prime minister will travel to Hamburg for the G-20 Summit being hosted by Germany on July 7-8. The theme chosen for this year is 'Shaping an Inter-connected World'.
"I look forward to engaging leaders from other G-20 countries on the vital issues affecting our world today that have a bearing on economic growth, sustainable development, and peace and stability," he said.
"We will review progress on decisions since the Hangzhou Summit last year and deliberate on issues of terrorism, climate, sustainable development, growth and trade, digitalisation, health, employment, migration, women’s empowerment, and partnership with Africa," Modi added.
As in the past, he said he looked forward to the opportunity to meet leaders on the sidelines of the Summit to exchange views on bilateral matters of mutual interest....