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Israel PM Netanyahu leaves for 'historic' visit to India

Press Trust of India  |  Jerusalem 

Keen to strengthen bilateral relations "even more", Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu today left for on a six-day visit along with the largest business delegation that has ever accompanied an Israeli on an overseas tour.

"This evening I am leaving on an historic visit to I will meet with the Prime Minister, my friend Modi, with the Indian and with many other leaders. We will sign very many agreements," Netanyahu said in statement.

"We are strengthening ties between and this important global power. This serves our security, economic, trade and tourism interests, as well as many other areas. This is a great blessing for the State of Israel," he said.

"Indian (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit," Netanyahu said just before leaving for

"On this visit I intend to strengthen bilateral relations even more. This visit is an opportunity to enhance cooperation with a global economic, security, technology and tourism power," he added.

The visit marks 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and takes place about six months after Modi's trip to Israel, the first by an Indian to the Jewish state.

Netanyahu's visit to is only the second one by an Israeli prime minister and comes after a gap of 15 years.

Former prime minister visited India in 2003.

Netanyahu will be visiting Delhi, Agra, and and will be accompanied by Modi on extensive portions of his visit, a press statement said.

He will hold meetings with and Sushma Swaraj, apart from Modi.

Several MoUs, including in the field of oil and gas, renewable energy, amended protocol for airports, cyber security, and co-production of films and documentaries, will be signed between the two sides.

would be signing an agreement with the ministry of health and family welfare.

Informed sources here said that this relates to sharing of knowledge in the field of and Ayurveda that have been gaining popularity in over the last few years.

Technion-would also be signing an agreement with the ministry of science and technology, sources here said.

Netanyahu is leading a high-profile delegation comprising 130 from 102 Israeli companies drawn from areas like agriculture, water, cyber security, health care and security, on his trip.

Israel will be investing USD 68.6 million to boost cooperation with India in areas like tourism, technology, agriculture and innovation over a period of four years, a here said ahead of Netanyahu's visit.

The commitment is in addition to the India-Israel 40 million over five years with equal contribution from both sides that has already been agreed between the two nations, of Israel's Foreign Ministry, Gilad Cohen, earlier told


Moshe Holtzberg, the toddler who survived the November 2008 terror attack but lost his parents, will also join the trip with his grandparents and his brave Indian nanny, Sandra Samuels, who saved him.

Netanyahu had promised to take him along on his visit during an emotional meeting between the now 11-year-old boy and Modi in in July.

The Indian prime minister will be hosting a private dinner for Netanyahu today evening after his arrival in New The Israeli leader would also meet Swaraj today.

The Israeli would be formally welcomed tomorrow morning at Rashtrapati Bhawan following which he would lay a wreath at Rajghat.

He would then participate in a dialogue at Hyderabad House which will also include a one-on-one discussion with Modi. A meeting with Kovind is also scheduled for tomorrow.

Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, would be travelling to to see the on Tuesday and return to to participate in the Raisina Dialogue.

Modi would be accompanying Netanyahu to on Wednesday where he will be welcomed in the same fashion as Japanese Prime Minister was with a road show in Ahmedabad.

The road show is said to be an 8-kilometre drive from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram. The two leaders will also be witnessing several innovative technologies in the field of water, agriculture and health at iCreate and visit a Centre of Excellence.

Netanyahu would arrive in on Wednesday in the evening where he will meet the Indian Jewish community.

A packed schedule on Thursday for the Israeli in Mumbai would include a "power breakfast" with Indian business leaders, a business seminar, attending two for the victims of the 26/11 attack at the and Nariman House and finally a gala event with Bollywood actors.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 12:35 IST
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