Israeli PM tests positive for Covid, days ahead of his scheduled India visit

Published on Mar 28, 2022 11:03 AM IST

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Naftali Bennett had announced his first official visit to India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, March 27, 2022.(Reuters)
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, March 27, 2022.(Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), days ahead of his scheduled visit to India. Bennett's office said that the Israeli Prime Minister is feeling well and will continue to work while self-isolating at home.

Earlier this month, Bennett had announced his first official visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his visit, Bennett was supposed to meet PM Modi and other senior government officials, and also visit the Jewish community in the country. 

"I am delighted to pay my first official visit to India at the invitation of my friend, Prime Minister Modi, and together we will continue leading the way for our countries' relations," Bennett said, as quoted by his office.

The Israel PMO said in a release that the purpose of the visit was to advance and strengthen the strategic alliance between the countries, and to expand bilateral ties.

“In addition, the leaders will discuss the strengthening of cooperation in a variety of areas, including innovation, economy, research and development, agriculture and more,” Bennett's office informed.

Also Read | Israeli PM delighted over his first India visit, says Modi ‘restarted relations’

The visit would have marked the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of full-fledged diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1992, 42 years after India recognised Israel. The two countries elevated their relations to a strategic partnership in 2017 with PM Modi's visit, the first by an Indian Prime Minister.

Bennett testing positive for Covid could now jeopardise the visit scheduled for April 2.

On Sunday, the Israeli leader met US secretary of state Antony Blinken in Jerusalem on the sidelines of a "historic summit" of Israeli and Arab diplomats.

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