Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to arrive in India today, meet PM Modi, Sushma Swaraj

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to arrive in India today, meet PM Modi, Sushma Swaraj

NEW DELHI: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is set to arrive in India on Sunday will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at 2.30 pm.

Following the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosting a private dinner for Netanyahu.

Netanyahu is on a six-day visit to India. On Monday, he will hold talks with his counterpart PM Modi, covering entire expanse of the ties and explore new areas of cooperation to further deepen the “very very special relationship”, the external affairs ministry had said on Thursday.

Later in the day, Israeli PM would formally be welcomed at the Rashtrapati Bhawan following which he would lay a wreath at Rajghat.

He would be then participating in a dialogue at Hyderabad house which will also include a one-on-one discussion with PM Modi. Meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu are also scheduled for Monday.

Both the strategic partners will aim to further expand ties on a range of key areas including defence and trade.

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On Tuesday, Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, would be travelling to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and return to Delhi to participate in the Raisina Dialogue.

On Wednesday, PM Modi would be accompanying Netanyahu to Gujarat where he will be welcomed with a roadshow in Ahmadabad.

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.

In the evening, Netanyahu would be arriving in Mumbai where he would be meeting with the Indian Jewish community.

It will be the Israeli Prime Minister’s second visit to India after a gap of 15 years since Ariel Sharon visited New Delhi in 2003. The visit comes merely six months after PM Modi visited the Jewish state, becoming the first Indian premier to do so.

Joint Secretary (West Asia-North Africa division) in the ministry B Bala Bhaskar had said that the Palestinian issue is likely to figure in the talks between the two PMs besides other key issues of mutual importance.

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

“This is a very very special relationship… We want to take it to a higher level,” Bhaskar had said.

Netanyahu will be leading a high-profile delegation comprising 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies drawn from areas like agriculture, water, cybersecurity, healthcare and security.

Several MoUs, including in the field of oil and gas, renewable energy, an amended protocol for airports, cybersecurity, co-production of films and documentaries are expected to be signed between the two sides.

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