Stage set for Israeli PM's six-day visit, starting Sunday

14 January, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • India considering purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel

During his three day visit in Israel, Indian delicacies were specially cooked for PM Modi by an Israeli chef of Indian origin, a personal favourite of Netanyahu's.

After his arrival, Netanyahu is likely to visit Teen Murti circle, where the "Haifa liberation day" is commemorated every year on September 23 - Teen Murti Marg is being renamed as Teen Murti Haifa Marg.

Addressing a press conference days ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India, Carmon also said it was not unusual for India to approach Israel with requests or Israel to appeal to India ahead of votes at the UN.

India, last month, had joined 127 other countries to vote in favour of a resolution opposing the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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"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", Mr Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Netanyahu also highlighted the historic nature of Modi's visit to Israel and strengthening of bilateral relations. Prime Minister Modi's visit was a very important milestone in that. "Ultimately. we would like to see improved ties translate to support in global forums", he said, conceding that it "takes some time for improved relations to be expressed on the worldwide front".

"The question is if it will influence our relationship or if it can influence the relationship", Carmon said in response to a question with reference to New Delhi's vote in the United Nations in favour of a resolution that denounced US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "It just takes longer on the worldwide front", he stressed.

Mr Netanyahu will be accompanied by a business delegation.

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Both India and Israel are eager to expand bilateral trade, from the present annual value of $4bn to $10bn by 2022.

"Let's not forget that before Modi visited Israel past year, he hosted Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi as well", Mr Taneja said. Hence, there is no way India can countenance Israel's unilateral actions in the occupied territories without seriously compromising its own claims.

PM Modi would be accompanying Netanyahu to Gujarat on Wednesday where he will be welcomed with a roadshow in Ahmadabad. Modi and Netanyahu will have their official delegation level talks in New Delhi on January 15. The minister will also attend an event at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate).

PM Modi had received a rousing welcome during his visit to the Jewish state in July a year ago when PM Netanyahu, who referred to the Indian leader as his "dear friend", had received him at the airport and spent the next three days by his side. They will inaugurate a research facility for cultivation of dates in Kutch by remote control from Sabarkantha, the chief minister said.

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In 2018, Israeli arms manufacturing firm Rafael confirmed scrapping of $500 million Spike, anti-tank guided missile, deal between India and Israel. Deals and joint investments in areas ranging from defence to renewable energy are also expected.

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