Netanyahu arrives for historic six day visit to India

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

Just before leaving for India, Israeli PM expressed his keenness to strengthen bilateral relations with India.

The Prime Minister's Office said that Netanyahu had been expecting to be met by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and was surprised to see Modi waiting for him on the ground at Air Force State New Delhi.

This is the first visit to India by an Israeli Prime Minister since Ariel Sharon came in 2003.

The Israeli PM will be accompanied by a 130-member delegation from various sectors including cyber, agriculture and defence.

Netanyahu will be in India on a six-day visit from January 14, during which he will hold comprehensive talks with Modi.

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology would also be signing an agreement with the ministry of science and technology, sources here said. "We will sign very many agreements", Netanyahu said in statement.

Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon on Friday down played India's stand at the UN General Assembly over the USA decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in place of Tel Aviv, saying New Delhi's view "cannot influence" Indo-Israel ties.

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Israel Ambassador Daniel Carmon said, "The Prime Minister's visit to India is the grand finale to the celebrations of 25 years of Growing Partnership between India and Israel".

The visiting dignitary will be accorded ceremonial reception at the forecourts of the Rashtrapati Bhawan tomorrow. The Israeli PM will call on President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.

His itinerary includes visits to Gujarat and Mumbai.

Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, would be travelling to Agra to see the Taj Mahal on Tuesday and return to Delhi to participate in the Raisina Dialogue.

On Wednesday, PM Modi will accompany Netanyahu to Ahmedabad. The two leaders will witnessing several innovative technologies in the field of water, agriculture and health at iCreate and visit a Centre of Excellence.

The two leaders are expected to discuss trade and defence ties as well as the Israel-Palestine relationship, NDTV reported. He said the Indian prime minister will host Netanyahu in his home state and termed it as an "important gesture".

The first stop for the two leaders will be the Teen Murti monument, where they will lay a wreath commemorating the role of three Indian regiments which fought at the battle of Haifa over a century ago.

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