Israel and India hope to strengthen their relationship with a historic first visit. Benjamin Netanyahu plans for the visit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will be the first time in history that a sitting prime minister of India has ever traveled to Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel on July 4, which happens to be the United States Independence Day. While Netanyahu and Modi have only met twice in person, both times at UN events, Modi and Netanyahu are said to be very close friends and almost perpetually in contact with each other via phone, according to Money Control.
Israel and India’s relations are in a “constant upswing,” stated Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader is apparently excited about Prime Minister Narendra Mobi’s visit. Money Control reports Netanyahu’s words.
“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.”
Though Israel and India have had diplomatic ties for 25 years, there has never been a visit until now. Prime Ministers Netanyahu and Modi have great hopes for this first official meeting. Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted in Money Control, expressing the official goals of the visit.
“We will establish a joint innovation, and research and development, fund. We will also increase tourism from India to Israel; this has very great potential. All of this is an additional expression of Israel’s enhanced international position in recent years as we strengthen the state of Israel.”
Israel’s growing relationship with India also involves defense ties and strategies that would also secure defense industry trade between the two nations. However, for this visit, defense will not be a major point of discussion.
India is requesting assistance in the fields of water management, agriculture, and technology, according to the Jerusalem Post. Israel plans to assist India with these concerns.
In addition, Netanyahu and Modi hope to reach agreements that would lead to increased tourism from India to Israel from the current 45,000 per year to 80,000. Netanyahu is also offering economic incentives for India’s Bollywood movies to be made in Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu plans to increase Israel’s exports to India by an additional 25 percent, according to the Jerusalem Post. This increase will not include the diamond trade, however.
The Israeli cabinet has already approved the creation of a “joint innovation, research, and development fund.” The fund will facilitate joint ventures between the two countries and help India increase the availability of clean water, improve agriculture, and facilitating the continued growth of technology in India.
Israel’s relationship with India is being largely facilitated by the natural friendship that has developed rapidly and easily between Modi and Netanyahu. The two nations’ leaders are said to be very close, with frequent phone calls and an ability to work together on various mutually advantageous projects.
India’s Narendra Modi is quoted in Money Control, from a conversation in 2015, explaining how easy Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is to talk to and cooperate with.
“I am happy that often we can talk easily on the telephone, we can discuss everything. It has very rarely happened. In your case it has happened.”
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond.
“In your case too.”
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Israel and India are strengthening their alliances through the friendship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi.
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