Jerusalem: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to Israel gained another feather to its cap after Modi was warmly welcomed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his residence in Jerusalem.
Affectionately welcoming Prime Minister with a hug, Rivlin termed Modi as "one of the greatest democratic leaders at present". He also recalled his earlier visit to India in November 2016, saying that he saw a nation with 'strong ideas, clear goals and tasks'.
Modi, on the other hand, said that the welcome he received mirrored the warmth of the country. Modi also added that he saw in Israel, a reflection of what Rivlin saw in India.
Talking about bilateral ties, Modi stated, “I for I, India for Israel and Israel for India”.
"'I' for 'I' is India for Israel, and 'I' with 'I' is India with Israel. Indians feel that 'Israel' is a real friend'," he said.
He also profusely thanked Rivlin for 'going out of the way' to receive him and termed it as an honour to all Indians.
"It is a privilege to meet President Rivlin again on Wednesday. I fondly recall his visit to India last November when he charmed us with his affable manner and desire to do more with India," Modi wrote in the guest book at the Presdient's residence.
"President Rivlin is admired in India for his unstinting belief and common good of mankind, I thank him for his friendship and his warm hospitality," wrote Modi, who is the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel.
Modi, who arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for a three-day visit, and was welcomed by Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu at the airport. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.
"We have a lot in common and doing a lot in common. We understood very well about your thought about the need to help partners who will 'Make in India'," Rivlin said.
"...we are doing a lot in order to fulfill your ideas about 'Make in India'," the Israeli President said.
"We only suggested some projects that may be we can do with India and I know that you have accepted that and appreciated that very much," he said.
Rivlin said there was a scope for cooperation between universities and industries of India and Israel.
"The....people in Israel are trying to find ways to invest in India and to make mutual projects together," he said....