Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for Israel on a three-day visit Tuesday to commemorate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The first Indian prime minister to visit the country, Modi will hold talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on a range of issues, including terrorism and counter-terrorism operations. The two leaders are likely to sign a number of agreements in relation to innovation, development, science and technology and space. Modi will also call on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the leader of opposition Isaac Herzog.
Netanyahu will receive Modi at the airport on Tuesday, a special gesture only extended to the Pope and the US President. He will also host a dinner him, and accompany him to most events including a community reception on July 5. Read: PM Narendra Modi’s first Israel visit a ‘formal coming out’ of relationship: Envoy. Click here.
“Next week, the Indian Prime Minister, my friend, Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel, This is a historic visit to Israel. In the 70 years of the country’s existence, no Indian Prime Minister has ever visited and this is further expression of the state of Israel’s military, economic and diplomatic strength,” Netanyahu had said. “This is a very significant step in strengthening relations between the two countries.” Prior to this, Modi and Netanyahu have met twice on the sidelines of UN events.
Modi is expected to further solidify defence ties with Israel. PTI reports that Israeli defence industries have shown interest in participating in joint ventures as part of Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ policy. India, Israel’s biggest arms market, buys weapons at an average of $1 billion annually, according to Reuters.
It is believed that Modi’s visit would further solidify security ties as Israeli defence industries have shown greater inclination towards participating in joint ventures to give a boost to the National Democratic Alliance government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Modi, who is expected to stay at the historic King David hotel in Jerusalem, will visit an agricultural farm on Tuesday where he will be shown “precision agriculture”, a technique of improving crop yield and productivity using technology efficiently. He will also be shown water management, treatment and purification technologies.
Later, Modi will pay homage to Indian soldiers at the Indian cemetery in Haifa.
He is scheduled to meet Holtzberg Moshe, now a 10-year-old boy, who was saved during the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks when he was an infant. His grandparents and part-time nanny Sandra Samuel — Samuel was with Moshe during the attacks — will also meet the prime minister. Moshe’s parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah, were among the eight Israeli nationals killed in the attacks.
Modi will also address around 4,000 Indians living in Israel during his three-day visit. He will separately interact with the students who are studying agriculture, chemistry and biology. Modi, will not, however, travel to Ramallah in Palestine. It is known to be a customary stop for visiting leaders, according to Reuters.
(With inputs from agencies)