South Asian Insider
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s first India visit
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on his first visit to India, is only the second Israeli leader to visit the country after Ariel Sharon in 2003.
(SAI Buearu) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on Sunday on his first visit to India to deepen defence, economic and cultural ties between the two countries that established diplomatic ties barely 25 years ago.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol to receive Netanyahu, only the second Israeli leader to visit India after Ariel Sharon in 2003, at the Palam airport where the two leaders shared a warm embrace.
“Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit,” Netanyahu said before leaving for New Delhi. “We are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power.”
Modi, who made history in July when he became the first Indian PM to visit Israel, would accompany Netanyahu for most part of his tour that will also take him to Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Agra.
Netanyahu had done the same for Modi in July. “Welcome to India, my friend PM @netanyahu! Your visit to India is historic and special. It will further cement the close friendship between our nations,” Modi tweeted in English and Hebrew.Israel is to invest $68.6 million in areas such as tourism, technology, agriculture and innovation over a period of four years, a senior Israeli official had said ahead of the visit.
From the airport, Modi and Netanyahu headed straight to the Teen Murti Chowk in central Delhi for a ceremony to rename the war memorial as Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk.
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