Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel on July 4. His three-day visit will boost bilateral ties in areas of mutual interest between the two countries, the External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday. Modi’s visit will also commemorate 25 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Israel, reported news agency PTI.
Modi will be received by his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu at the airport and a “top protocol team” of Israelis from various sectors including rabbis. According to Israeli Ambassador Daniel Carmon, this gesture is only accorded to the Pope and the US President. Netanyahu will host a dinner for Modi on July 4.
Carmon said Modi’s visit is of “unprecedented importance with bilateral ties going through changing paradigm and changed architecture where there is no zero sum game and commitments and good relations with both sides can be maintained without contradiction”, which refers to India’s ties with Israel and the Arab countries.
Modi and Netanyahu will hold talks on ways to increase cooperation in key strategic areas, and are expected to sign a slew of agreements in the fields of innovation, development, science, technology and space. A MoU with the Uttar Pradesh government is likely to be penned between the leaders, to clean up a part of the Ganga and setting up an industrial research and development fund of $40 million. Apart from this, he will also pay homage to Indian soldiers at the Indian cemetery in Haifa.
“This significant visit, the first of an Indian prime minister to Israel, takes place on the backdrop of marking 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, and will further upgrade the ever-growing partnership between the two countries,” the Israeli embassy said.
Modi is also expected to meet 26/11 Mumbai terror attack survivor Holtzberg Moshe. He was only two years old when he was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel. His parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah were among the eight Israeli nationals killed in the attacks.
(With inputs from PTI)