Israeli Prime Minister, B. Netanyahu visit to India is seen as an expansion of economic ties between the two countries.
New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA ) on Thursday, confirmed the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will visit India between 14th to 19th January 2018. The visit is a reciprocating gesture from Israel to the first Prime Minister-level visit to India undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2017.
“I think everybody can see that. Prime Minister Modi’s visit was a very important milestone in that. My visit to India is the other one,” Mr. Netanyahu said addressing the Government Press Office on Wednesday.
Mr. Netanyahu will be the second Israeli Prime Minister to visit India. The first was Ariel Sharon in 2003 during the regime of BJP-led government.
The visit seen as a high point of the 25th anniversary of normal diplomatic ties between the two countries. Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel, former President Pranab Mukherjee and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have also visited Israel in the last three years.
“The Prime Minister’s visit to India is the grand finale to the celebrations of 25 years of growing partnership between India and Israel. The visit will focus on the progress made between India and Israel since Prime Minister Modi visited Israel last summer,” the Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon said on the visit.
“India’s vote in UN, was never an issue”
In December India voted in the favor of the UN General Assembly, condemning the U.S. for its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
However, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made clear that he is not disheartened by India’s vote against Israel at the UN General Assembly on the issue of Jerusalem, and hope that bilateral ties would receive a further boost during his milestone visit to the country.
“Well I would have preferred a different vote to be frank but I don’t think it materially changes the tremendous flowering of relations between India and Israel,” he said.
Strengthened Economic Ties:
The MEA has made clear that the visit is seen as an expansion of economic ties between the two countries.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu will deliver the inaugural lecture at the Raisina Dialogue, the annual foreign policy-related discussion in Delhi. He will also participate in the Indo-Israeli CEO Forum in Delhi,” said the officials of MEA.
Besides, visiting Delhi, the Israeli leader will travel to Gujarat on 17th of January. There he will visit the Centre for Excellence in Vadrad and will inaugurate a Centre of Excellence for date palms in Bhuj via video conferencing.
Mr. Netanyahu is also expected to visit Mumbai, where he will offer his tribute to the victims of the 26/11 attack. It is reported that he will be accompanied by the relatives of the Jewish priest who was killed along with his wife during that attack.