PM Modi to visit Israel from July 4 to 6, will get red-carpet welcome | india-news | Hindustan Times
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PM Modi to visit Israel from July 4 to 6, will get red-carpet welcome

The visit is being accorded considerable importance by the Israeli government. Benjamin Netanyahu will be at Modi’s side for almost the whole of his two-and-a-half day visit.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2017 22:03 IST
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses members of the Indian community at the Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses members of the Indian community at the Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday.(PTI photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel from July 4 to 6, the external affairs ministry announced on Wednesday. This would be the first-ever trip by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish state.

“During his visit, (Modi) will hold detailed discussions with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on all matters of mutual interest. He will also call on president Rivlin,” a statement from the ministry said. “The visit will provide an impetus for deeper bilateral engagement in areas of mutual interest.”

The Indian Prime Minister’s visit is being accorded considerable importance by the Israeli government. Netanyahu will be at Modi’s side for almost the whole of his two-and-a-half day visit, said Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon.

Though the two countries normalised diplomatic relations only in 1992, India and Israel have a remarkably close security relationship. Israeli may turn out to be the single-largest supplier of weapons to India in dollar terms in fiscal year 2015-16.

However, both Indian and Israeli sources say the focus of Modi’s trip will be on non-security areas such as water technology. Israel, which generates a third of its agricultural water from desalination plants and reuses 80% of its water supply, is rated as the global leader in this area. “Water is at the top of our development agenda,” said Carmon.

The Israeli cabinet on Sunday passed a resolution outlining a strategic partnership with India in a host of non-security areas, such as water, agriculture, space, health, investment and even “bringing Bollywood to Israel”. The Israeli government has sanctioned $70 million to facilitate the partnership.

Modi, slated to reach Israel on the afternoon of July 4, will spend the first day touring Yad Vashem, a Holocaust memorial, and an agricultural innovation centre.

While the next day will be taken up by diplomatic activities, Modi will end it by meeting the Indian diaspora. He will also interact with Moshe, an Israeli child who was saved by his Indian nanny during the Mumbai terror attack, the same day.

On July 6, the Prime Minister will pay homage to Indian soldiers killed in Haifa and host a forum for 30 CEOs.

Underlining the “unprecedented importance” given to Modi’s visit, Carmon said 40 to 50 Israeli dignitaries will receive him at the airport. Such an honour is accorded only to the Pope and the US President, the Israeli ambassador added.