Vastavam web: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to India on a day-long visit on September 9 to meet his counterpart Narendra Modi, just eight days before an unprecedented repeat polls in the Jewish state. Netanyahu, who created history on July 20 by becoming the longest serving Israeli Prime Minister, surpassing Israel’s first premier David Ben-Gurion, is facing a tough political challenge as opinion polls show flagging fortunes for his ruling Likud party.
“The (Israeli) Prime Minister will be in India only for a few hours on September 9 during which he will be meeting Modi. No other significant meeting is yet on the cards but something may be worked out during the coming days, possibly a business meeting,” informed sources told here. Israeli lawmakers in May voted 74-45 in favour of dissolving the 21st Knesset (Parliament) and hold an unprecedented repeat general elections on September 17 after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government.
He wrote that that the PM Office in Tel Aviv is said to have reached out to their counterparts in New Delhi and requested for an invitation. Netanyahu will land, meet, have his picture taken, market the visit as “very important” for Israel’s security and economic interests, complain that the leftist media ignored the trip and upload something to Facebook, the journalist wrote. Sources said that the Indian PMO had indeed suggested the week of August 25 for the visit but the Israeli side pushed for an early September visit which has finally been confirmed for September 9, exactly sixteen years after then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon created history by becoming the first Israeli Premier to visit India.
The first request for an invitation for Netanyahu to visit New Delhi was made in January during the visit of Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Sabbath to India. The two leaders were scheduled to meet on February 11 before the elections in Israel but Netanyahu called off his trip to New Delhi due to other engagements.