Tel Aviv: It is my singular honour to be the first Prime Minister of India to undertake this groundbreaking visit to Israel, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening.
“A progressive partnership in all these areas would shape the scope of my conversation with my friend PM Benjamin Netanyahu. We are cooperating to secure our societies against common threats such as terrorism. Alongside building a partnership for shared economic prosperity, we are also cooperating to secure our societies,” said Prime Minister Modi during the brief address at the airport.
PM Modi added that he was looking forward to interacting with the Indian diaspora in Israel, including a large number of Jews of Indian origin.
PM Modi was received by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Tel Aviv Aiport, a special gesture only accorded to the Pope or the US president. The two leaders were captured sharing an embrace.
Addressing the media at the airport, PM Netanyahu said, “Aapka swaagat hai, mere dost (Welcome, my friend). We love India. We admire your culture, your history, your democracy and commitment to progress. I am confident of the real mathematics of life, of the success of our partnership for many reasons and of talent of our people.”
Speaking of ties between the two countries, Netanyahu stated that even sky is not the limit in cooperation between India and Israel.
“We can do even more, even better, together. Welcome to Israel my friend Narendra Modi,” Netanyahu said while describing PM Modi as a great world leader.
Netanyahu will be accompanying Prime Minister Modi throughout his visit to various places across the country. An official private dinner also awaits the Indian prime minister, apart from tours to the country’s famous floriculture farm and the Holocaust museum.
Ahead of his visit, PM Modi had wished Israel and said he is eagerly waiting to meet the people of the country. He answered a multitude of questions, including his goals for India in the long run.
PM Modi said, “My government is trying to make a ‘New India’ with the dreams and ideas of the youth in the nation. Our motto and roadmap are reform, perform and transform.”
India and Israel are set to sign several agreements during PM Modi’s visit, which is being hailed as a “very significant step” in strengthening bilateral relations that are on a “constant upswing”.
The two sides are expected to sign a number of agreements in the field of innovation, development, science and technology and space. Besides this, the two countries are expected to discuss ways to strengthen people-to-people contact, air connectivity and investments.
During the visit, a deal with the Uttar Pradesh government is also likely to be signed to clean-up a patch of river Ganges apart from setting up of industrial research and development fund of USD 40 million.
The two leaders have already met twice on foreign soil on the sidelines of UN-related events and are said to be constantly in touch with each other over the phone. The defence ties between India and Israel have often drawn worldwide attention and acquired strategic dimensions.
It is believed that Modi’s visit would further solidify security ties as Israeli defence industries have shown a greater inclination towards participating in joint ventures to give a boost to the National Democratic Alliance government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
PM Modi will also meet 26/11 Mumbai terror attack survivor Holtzberg Moshe, who was two years old when he was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel. Moshe’s father Rabbi Gavriel and mother Rivkah were among eight Israeli nationals killed in the 2008 terror strike.
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