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Narendra Modi’s three-day Israel visit to begin on 4 July

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-06-2017 Elizabeth Roche

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel from 4-6 July, the first ever by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish nation since the establishment of diplomatic relations 25 years ago, the Indian foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.

“During the visit, the prime minister will have detailed discussions with Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu on all matters of mutual interest and will also call on President Reuven Rivlin,” a statement said.

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“Elements of his programme include homage to Indian soldiers at the Indian cemetery in Haifa and address to the Indian community at an event in Tel Aviv. India established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 and since then the relationship has evolved into a multi-dimensional partnership. This year both countries are commemorating 25 years of diplomatic relations and the visit of the prime minister will provide an impetus for deeper bilateral engagement in areas of mutual interest,” the statement added.

In a separate statement, the Israeli embassy in New Delhi said it “warmly welcomes Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on his visit to Israel at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.”

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“This significant visit, the first of an Indian prime minister to Israel, takes place in the backdrop of marking 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, and will further upgrade the ever growing partnership between the two countries,” the Israeli statement said.

Once seen as a firm backer of the Palestinian cause, India forged diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992—a time that coincided with the start of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Ties have since grown by leaps and bounds with Israel now emerging as one of India’s key strategic partners with ties spanning defence hardware supplies, counterterrorism, water conservation and agriculture.

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