New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a three-day visit to Israel starting on Tuesday on a special invitation from his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit will be the first by an Indian prime minister since the two countries established diplomatic relations 25 years ago.
Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee had visited the country in 2015 while External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited it in 2016.
Here we bring you the complete schedule, agenda and significance of PM Modi’s historic visit to Israel.
On July 4, PM Modi will be received by Netanyahu at the airport. This is a special gesture only accorded to the Pope or the US president.
PM Modi is likely to stay at the King David Hotel, where he will be accorded a red carpet welcome. This is the same hotel where US President Donald Trump had stayed during his recent visit to Israel. During the visit, PM Modi is expected to have detailed discussions with PM Netanyahu on matters of mutual interest to both countries.
According to the reports PM Modi will also on Israeli President Rivlin. According to an MEA release, during the visit, PM Modi will pay homage to Indian soldiers at the Indian Cemetery in Haifa. PM Modi will address a massive rally for the Indians on Wednesday morning at Tel Aviv Fairgrounds. Around 80,000-85,000 Indian origin people live in Israel.
During the visit, PM Modi will also address the Israeli Parliament Knesset.
Israeli analysts have also noted PM Modi will apparently not travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leaders during his three-day stay, as is common for many foreign dignitaries.
If reports are to be believed, the two countries are expected to announce strategic partnerships in areas including water, agriculture and space technology during the historic visit.
During the visit, a deal with the Uttar Pradesh government is also likely to be signed to clean-up a patch of river Ganges apart from setting up of industrial research and development fund of USD 40 million.
Amid a series of cyber attacks across the globe, including by non-state actors India and Israel will discuss cooperation in cyber security. Netanyahu had already stressed that Israel’s growing acceptance across the world, especially as a “technology giant”, is going to come to full expression during the upcoming visit of “my friend Narendra Modi”.
Modi will also meet 26/11 Mumbai terror attack survivor Holtzberg Moshe, who was only two when he was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel. Moshe’s father Rabbi Gavriel and mother Rivkah were among eight Israeli nationals killed in the 2008 terror strike.
The Indian prime minister would also be meeting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the leader of opposition Isaac Herzog on July 5.
Hailed as a ‘very significant step’ in strengthening bilateral relations that are on a ‘constant upswing’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel, the first ever by an Indian premier will elevate ties and sign several agreements between the two countries. “Next week, the Indian Prime Minister, my friend, Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel, This is a historic visit to Israel. In the 70 years of the country’s existence, no Indian Prime Minister has ever visited and this is further expression of the state of Israel’s military, economic and diplomatic strength,” Israel PM Netanyahu had said.
It has been expected that Modi’s visit would further strengthen security ties as Israeli defence industries have shown greater inclination towards participating in joint ventures to give a boost to the National Democratic Alliance government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Modi and Netanyahu have already met twice on the sidelines of UN-related events and are said to be constantly in touch with each other over the phone.