Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday evening in Tel Aviv to a red carpet welcome. Modi was received by his Israeli counterpart- Benjamin Netenyahu who greeted him in Hindi saying ‘Apka swagat hai mere dost,’ with folded hands. This is the first official visit to Israel by an Indian prime minister and is seen by many as historic due to its unprecedented nature.
Describing Modi as “a great leader of India and a great world leader”, Netanyahu said, “we have been waiting for the last 70 years” for a visit by an Indian prime minister. Describing Modi as “a great leader of India and a great world leader”, Netanyahu said, “we have been waiting for the last 70 years” for a visit by an Indian prime minister.
The two prime ministers spoke briefly at the airport and vowed to give a push to the bilateral relationship in all aspects and jointly deal with the common threats like terrorism. “We love India,” said the Israeli prime minister.
Netanyahu’s entire cabinet was there to receive Modi, who was wearing a cream colour ‘band gala’ suit, at the airport where the Indian prime minister was also accorded a Guard of Honour. “I remember what you told me in our first meeting – when it comes to India and Israel relations, the sky is the limit. But now, prime minister, let me add even sky is not the limit. We are also cooperating in space,” Netanyahu told Modi. Talking about the vast possibilities of cooperation between the two countries, he said, “We can do even more, even better together.”
Speaking after Netanyahu, Modi said building a strong relationship with Israel is his intent. “Building a strong and resilient relationship with Israeal will be my intent and focus. Building a progressive partnership in all the areas will shape my conversation with “my friend” Netanyahu,” said Modi.
Describing his visit as ‘groundbreaking’ Modi said India and Israel are “cooperating to secure our societies against common threats such as terrorism.”. The prime minister said, “he is keen to interact with Indian diaspora in Israel, including a large number of Jews of Indian origin.”