PM Narendra Modi leaves for Israel, to become first Indian Prime Minister to visit Jewish nation

 BT Online        Last Updated: July 4, 2017  | 19:28 IST
PM Narendra Modi leaves for Israel, to become first Indian Prime Minister to visit Jewish nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday embarked on a historic visit to Israel, first ever by any Indian prime minister to the Jewish nation.

During the three day visit, PM Modi will meet his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and discuss common challenges like terrorism.

Touted to be a landmark visit by an Indian Prime Minister, Modi's visit is expected to boost the diplomatic ties between the two countries. This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of their diplomatic relations.

Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon said that PM Modi's visit is being treated with unprecedented importance.

PM Modi will be interacting with 4,000 Jews of Indian origin and will be staying in the same luxury suite at the King David Hotel where US President Donald Trump stayed in during his visit.

Modi will be in Israel till July 6 before travelling to Hamburg in Germany to attend the G-20 Summit.

In Israel, he will also meet President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and address the CEOs of the two countries as well as the Indian diaspora.

He will also visit the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum to honour the memory of the victims of the holocaust that counts among the greatest tragedies in human history.

Modi will also pay his respects to the courageous Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918.

"I begin a historic visit to Israel, a very special partner of India's. As the first Indian prime minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer," he had said in a statement here yesterday.

"I look forward to holding extensive talks with my friend, @IsraeliPM @netanyahu, who shares a commitment for vibrant India-Israel ties," he had tweeted.

The prime minister had said he will have "in-depth talks" with Netanyahu "on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit. We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism."

"My programme during the visit gives me an opportunity to engage with a cross-section of Israeli society. I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two peoples," Modi had said.

On the economic side, he had said, "I will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and start-ups to discuss our shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground."

On July 6, the prime minister will travel to Hamburg for the G-20 Summit being hosted by Germany on July 7-8.

The theme chosen for this year is 'Shaping an Inter- connected World'.

"I look forward to engaging leaders from other G-20 countries on the vital issues affecting our world today that have a bearing on economic growth, sustainable development, and peace and stability," he had said.

"We will review progress on decisions since the Hangzhou Summit last year and deliberate on issues of terrorism, climate, sustainable development, growth and trade, digitalisation, health, employment, migration, women s empowerment, and partnership with Africa," Modi had added.

(with inputs from PTI)

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