Tel Aviv: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed by Israel's Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu, at Tel Aviv airport in Israel, in a historical first time visit by an Indian prime minister.
“Welcome to Israel…Aapka Swagat Hai Mere Dost. We have been waiting for you, for a long time. We love India,” Netanyahu said at the welcome address.
Talking about Indo-Israel relations, Netanyahu said that sky is not the only limit since both countries are now also cooperating on space technology.
"We shook each others hands and we agreed to forge to become historic partners and break down the walls between India and Israel," he added.
Explaining their formula for success, Netanyahu said, "It's simple. It's I-squared and T-squared, equals Indian talent and Israel technology, which equals India-Israel ties for tomorrow.
Responding to Netanyahu, Modi said he was honoured to be the first ever Indian Prime Minister to undertake this ground breaking visit to Israel.
"My visit is about the strength of our societies and our strong partnership," he said.
Modi added that he was keen to interact with the Indian diaspora in Israel, including large number of Jews of Indian origin.
Speaking on terrorism, Modi said, "Alongside building a partnership for shared economic prosperity, we are cooperating to secure our societies against common threats such as terrorism."
"A progressive partnership in all these areas would shape the scope of conversation with my friend PM Benjamin Netanyahu," he added.
In Israel, Modi will also meet President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and address the CEOs of the two countries as well as the Indian diaspora.
He will visit the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum to honour the memory of the victims of the holocaust that counts among the greatest tragedies in human history.
Modi will also pay his respects to the courageous Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918.
"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," he had said in a statement on Monday.
The Prime Minister had 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. He will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism."
This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of their diplomatic relations.
On the economic side, he had 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."
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 had 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 had added....