Mumbai: On July 4, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Indian PM to visit Israel. It’s now time for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to reciprocate the same and it seems the PM Modi’s counterpart has done that by coming to India on a 6 day visit on Sunday, January 14, 2018, accompanied by his wife and a 130 member business delegation.
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This is the second visit by an Israeli PM, which comes after a gap of 15 years. The first visit was by the former PM Ariel Sharon in 2003. This also marks 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two democratic countries.
The Greet – PM Modi went to Delhi airport yesterday, to receive PM Netanyahu, with a warm hug, setting aside the protocol, which also surprised the Israeli PM. Later, Netanyahu was quoted by some officials, “I very much appreciate the gesture”. He even tweeted, “We have landed in India.Thank you to my good friend Narendra Modi for the warm welcome.” During PM Modi’s visit to Israel last year, Netanyahu had received him at the airport.
After receiving, PM Modi tweeted in English and Hebrew, welcoming Netanyahu – “Welcome to India, my friend PM@netanyahu! Your visit to India is historic and special. It will further cement the close friendship between our nations”.
Welcome to India, my friend PM @netanyahu! Your visit to India is historic and special. It will further cement the close friendship between our nations. @IsraeliPM #ShalomNamaste pic.twitter.com/sidgMmA1fu
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 14, 2018
The Meet – PM Netanyahu met Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, later in the day, where he told Swaraj that he was overwhelmed by the warmth he received upon his arrival. He also said that his visit can catapult bilateral ties to the next level.
PM Modi later hosted a private dinner for his good friend, Netanyahu and his wife.
Let’s have a look at the PM Netanyahu’s schedule for his 6 day visit –
Jan 14 – Attended a ceremony at Teen Murti Memorial in New Delhi, to rename it as Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk.
Jan 15 – Meet Indo-Israeli CEO forum in Delhi and address another business event.
Jan 16 – To deliver speech at the Raisina Dialogue and meeting President Ram Nath Kovind.
Jan 17 – In the morning, will leave for Ahmedabad with PM Modi, where he will visit the Sabarmati Ashram. In Vadrad, they will visit the Centre of Excellence, in Bhuj, will inaugurate a Centre of Excellence for date palms.
Jan 18 – Visit Mumbai, where he will meet many Bollywood stars in an exclusive, ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event, will attend a ceremony at Chabad House, which will be attended by Moshe Holtzberg, the 11 year old whose parents were killed during 26/11 terrorist attack.
The Expectations – The ties of trade and defence area is expected to deepen during the Israeli PM’s visit. Another expected deal is a signing of Multi Million dollar Israeli Anti tank missile deal, which is confirmed by the Israeli arms manufacturing firm Rafael, a $500 million Spike, anti tank guided missile deal.
The Israeli Ambassador was quoted, “We are striving for increasing cooperation and collaboration in various fields”.
Let’s hope, this new friendship will bring great development of both the nations.