Narendra Modi in Israel: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his “path-breaking” visit to Israel today with a red carpet landing in Tel Aviv. His Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu extended him an extraordinary welcome and asserted that “even sky is not the limit” in the cooperation between the two countries.
The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel since independence in 1947, PM Modi said, “I thank my friend PM Netanyahu for receiving me. My visit is about the strength of our societies and our strong partnership.” Modi further said, ” It is my honour to be the first ever Indian PM to undertake this groundbreaking visit to Israel.”
“India is an old civilisation but young nation. We have a talented and skilled youth, who are our driving force. We consider Israel an important development partner. We have to secure our societies against the common threat of terrorism,” he added. Modi noted that India and Israel have embarked on an “exciting journey” that both countries will undertake together “for the good of our people and our society.”
Earlier, Netanyahu received Modi at the Ben Gurion airport. The Israeli PM greeted Modi in Hindi, “aapka swagat hai, mere dost” (welcome, my friend). Netanyahu described Modi as “a great leader of India and a great world leader”. He further said, “we have been waiting for the last 70 years” for a visit by an Indian prime minister.
Both leaders embraced each other twice and vowed to push the bilateral relationship in all aspects and jointly deal with the common threats like terrorism. “We love India.”
Netanyahu’s entire Cabinet was there to receive Modi at the airport where the Indian prime minister was also accorded a Guard of Honour. “I remember what you told me in our first meeting – when it comes to India and Israel relations, the sky is the limit. But now, prime minister, let me add even sky is not the limit. We are also cooperating in space,” Netanyahu told Modi.
Talking about the vast possibilities of cooperation between the two countries, he said, “We can do even more, even better together.”