Vastavam web:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today hailed his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel, the first by an Indian premier, as a “very significant step” in strengthening bilateral relations that are on a “constant upswing”.Netanyahu, while speaking at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, said, “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.”
India is a huge country with over 1.25 billion people and is one of the world’s largest, growing economies. Ties between Israel and India are on a “constant upswing”, the Israeli premier said.Modi’s visit is aimed at commemorating 25 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Netanyahu, in his remarks today, said the Cabinet will approve decisions that will deepen Indo-Israel ties, beginning with expanding exports and deepening cooperation in agriculture and water.”We will establish a joint innovation, and research and development, fund. We will also increase tourism from India to Israel; this has very great potential. All of this is an additional expression of Israel’s enhanced international position in recent years as we strengthen the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
“I am happy that often we can talk easily on telephone, we can discuss everything. It has very rarely happened. In your case it has happened,” Modi had told Netanyahu during their meeting on the sidelines of Paris Climate summit in November 2015. The Israeli premier had then promptly responded saying, “in your case too”.Prime Minister Modi’s visit has been preceded by several other high-profile visits, including the trip of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, several senior secretaries, Minister of State for Agriculture S S Ahluwalia-led 11 member multi-party parliamentary delegation and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba’s five-day visit earlier this month.