New Delhi/Jerusalem: On the eve of his historic visit to Israel, the first-ever by an Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi described India’s ties with Israel as “special” on Monday, and said that his visit would “lead to further cementing” of bilateral ties and cooperation in key areas, including counter-terrorism.
In a message ahead of the visit from New Delhi, Mr Modi said, “I will be visiting Israel on 4-6 July, 2017, upon invitation of PM Benjamin Netanyahu... I look forward to holding extensive talks with my friend, @IsraeliPM @netanyahu, who shares a commitment for vibrant India-Israel ties... From boosting economic ties to furthering people-to-people interactions, my Israel visit has a wide range of programmes. 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. This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of our diplomatic relations.”
He further said, “I will have in-depth talks with PM 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. 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.”
PM Modi also said, “On the economic side, 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, I hope to get insights into Israel’s accomplishments in technology and innovation.” The P.V. Narasimha Rao had taken the gigantic foreign policy leap of establishing full-fledged diplomatic ties with Israel on January 29, 1992. But it was around the turn of the century during the earlier NDA government led by A.B. Vajpayee that ties really began to take-off.