1. Narendra Modi set to ink a first, become first Indian PM to visit Israel

Narendra Modi set to ink a first, become first Indian PM to visit Israel

In yet another attempt to improve the foreign relations of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected tp visit Israel by the middle of this year. The Prime Minister visit will be the first by any Indian PM to the Jewish nation.

By: | New Delhi | Published: February 28, 2017 8:17 PM
The Prime Minister visit will be the first by any Indian PM to the Jewish nation. (PTI)

In yet another attempt to improve the foreign relations of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected tp visit Israel by the middle of this year. The Prime Minister visit will be the first by any Indian PM to the Jewish nation. Hinting at the Prime Minister’s visit Secretary (Economic Relations), Amar Singh asserted that PM Modi’s visit is on cards but he declined to speak about any further details on the visit.

Also, sources from the Ministry of External Affairs has hinted that the PM’s visit is likely to take place somewhere around June. The Israeli Prime Minister is also likely to visit India later in this year.The two nations are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic ties this year.

Speaking at an art exhibition– ‘Hodu and the Jews’– here, Sinha said although both the countries have cooperation in the defence and the security sectors, “conscious” efforts are being made to make it a “multi-dimensional relationship”, and not merely “unifocal”.

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Daniel Carmon, Israel’s envoy to India, said PM Modi’s visit is likely to be in the “summer”, but he too did not go into details. Carmon also said the two sides are working on “every possible area of cooperation”. He, however, refused to comment on cooperation in the field of defence.

When Modi visits the Jewish nation, both the countries are expected to hold talks in areas ranging from agriculture to defence to cyber security and innovations. Sinha underlined the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of cyber-security and drinking water. He also cited the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee to Israel in October, 2015, followed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to the Jewish nation early last year.

Last November, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also visited India.

“We are trying to establish a programme under our Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) project. We already have a programme where Indian professor go and teach in Israel. So, we are exploring new areas,” Sinha said.

Sinha said the two countries have planned a series of events to celebrate the silver jubilee of the diplomatic relationship this year. It has been decided “at the highest level”, to create joint coordination committee to plan out the activities. This includes visits by business delegations, academic fora. Sinha said Israel sits in an area of great concern and interest to India. New Delhi formally recognised Israel on September 17, 1950. Embassies were opened in 1992 when full diplomatic relations were established.

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