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Israeli PM Netanyahu to pay ‘dear friend Modi’ a visit in January

Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July this year celebrated 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

india Updated: Oct 25, 2017 08:31 IST
PTI and HT Correspondent
PTI and HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jerusalem
Israeli PM,Netanyahu,Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Israel in July. (AFP File Photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he will visit India in January, six months after Narendra Modi visited the Jewish state.

Netanyahu will be only the second Israeli Prime Minister to visit India. His visit next year would be happening almost 15 years after Ariel Sharon visited New Delhi in 2003. “In the past year, I have visited all the continent besides Antarctica,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the Knesset’s (Israeli parliament) winter session on Monday.

“And in January, I will make a reciprocal visit to my dear good friend, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, whose population is a significant part of humanity,” he added.

Modi’s visit to Israel in July this year celebrated 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Indian Prime Minister skipped Palestine during his trip leading many analysts to say that New Delhi was changing its rules of engagement in the region.

Modi’s visit, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, was termed by many as de-hyphenation of New Delhi’s ties with the Palestinians.

However, government sources in Delhi said they cannot confirm the visit “at this stage”. Diplomatic sources said the PM “expressed the wish to reciprocate” the gesture of PM Modi visiting Israel by paying a return visit here in January. But “as it it’s customary, the dates will be announced after consultations with both sides”.

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 23:10 IST