Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Begins 6-day India Visit Today With Focus on Defence, Security, to be Received by PM Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad, Jan 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol to receive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his wife Sara, at Ahmedabad airport on Sunday ahead of his six-day visit to India with focus on defence and security. PM Modi will host Netanyahu for dinner on Sunday night. In the past, Modi has welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his home state.
Netanyahu would be only the second Israeli Prime Minister to visit India since diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1992. His visit is happening almost 15 years after the first visit by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to New Delhi in 2003.
The visit by Israeli PM comes a little more than six months after Narendra Modi visited the Jewish state.
Strengthening cooperation in key areas of trade and defence, including a possible inking of a multi-million dollar Israeli anti-tank missiles deal, is on the table during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Here is the schedule of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit to India
After his arrival, Netanyahu and PM Modi are likely to visit the Teen Murti Circle in New Delhi where the two leaders will lay a wreath at the monument, where the “Haifa liberation day” is commemorated every year on September 23. Notably, Teen Murti Marg will formally be renamed as Teen Murti Haifa Marg.
Later in the afternoon, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to call on the visiting Israeli PM at the Taj Palace Hotel. Modi will host a private dinner for Netanyahu.
The visiting dignitary, on Monday, will be given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan which will be followed by the wreath laying at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. Netanyahu will also meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and hold delegation level talks. The two sides will sign agreements and also issue a joint press statement. The Israeli PM will call on President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.
On Tuesday, the minister will leave for Agra and visit Taj Mahal in the city. On the same day, he will visit Delhi and participate in the Raisina Dialogue, where he is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech.
Netanyahu will leave for Ahmedabad on Wednesday and visit Sabarmati Ashram. The minister will also attend an event at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate). The minister will later visit Centre of Excellence, Vadrad. On the same day the minister will leave for Mumbai.
On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a power Breakfast with Indian CEOs and attend a business seminar. He will also lay wreath at Taj Hotel Mumbai and pay a visit to Nariman House – Chabad Centre. He will also reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event.
He would head back to Israel on January 18.
Netanyahu on visiting ‘dear good friend’ Narendra Modi
Earlier during the opening of the Knesset’s (Israeli parliament) winter session last month, Netanyahu said, “In the past year, I have visited all continents besides Antarctica and in January, I will make a reciprocal visit to my dear good friend, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.”
Modi’s standalone visit to Israel in July this year celebrated 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Netanyahu had called Modi’s “historic visit” a “very significant step” in strengthening bilateral relations that are on a “constant upswing”.
Modi extended an invitation to Netanyahu to visit India at a mutually convenient time” during a July 5 press conference in Jerusalem. Netanyahu had described the invitation as “a deeply moving moment for me, both in personal, but also in national and international terms”.
Since Modi’s Israel trip, both the governments have taken several measures to strengthen bilateral ties. Some of them include establishment of a USD 40 million joint fund to encourage Israeli and Indian business cooperation, agreements permitting and extending incentives to Bollywood filmmakers looking to shoot in Israel, efforts to promote growth in tourism, and a joint government project in the fields of water and agriculture.
(With Agencies input)