Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Israel on July 5 and 6, according to The Indian Express report. PM Modi’s visit which will be the first by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel, coincides with 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, according to a report. It has been learned that PM Modi had made the decision last week after four sets of dates were considered. PM Modi’s Office was given the option to choose from two sets of dates in June and two sets in July.
It has been learned that PM Modi will have a packed schedule of foreign visits from next month till July, starting with the trip to Sri Lanka, as per PTI report. Besides Sri Lanka, he is slated to travel to the US, Israel, Russia, Germany, Spain and Kazakshstan. After Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister will be travelling to St Petersburg in Russia to attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) to be held from June 1-3. Along with that, he is expected to travel to Germany and Spain on bilateral visits, the officials said. Subsequently, Modi will be visiting Kazakhstan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet to be held in Astana on June 7-8.
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Significantly, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also expected to attend the Summit of the SCO, a grouping which includes Russia, China, Kazakshstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Thereafter, the Prime Minister is slated to travel to Hamburg in Germany to attend the G-20 Summit scheduled to take place on July 7-8, the officials said.
Israel’s government, meanwhile, has instructed authorities to roll out the red carpet for Modi. Efforts are also underway to schedule an address to Knesset, Israel’s unicameral parliament with 120 members. The other possible activities being explored by officials include a visit to an innovation and technology park, with the Advanced Technologies Park in Ben Gurion University being one of the possible options. The government is also talking to some top innovators from both countries to showcase their products during PM’s visit to the high-tech park, the UI
Recognition of its diploma courses by the Indian government is among top priorities for Israel, which is exploring various agreements in the education sector ahead of PM Modi’s visit to the country. The Jewish nation is in close contact with the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry and is working on various ideas which may be formally taken up during Modi’s visit, which is likely in July. “Defence is not the only area which defines Indo-Israel relationship. We are in close contact with the HRD Ministry, there are a few ideas. Exchange of foreign students and recognition of diploma courses will be on the table,” Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said, as per PTI report.
“The area of education which does not include much of high school education but colleges and universities is on top of our joint agenda,” Carmon added. At least 15 MoUs were signed between Indian and Israeli educational institutions in November last year during Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s eight-day trip to India, a PTI report said.
Israel is eyeing 25-30 per cent growth in tourist arrivals from India this year, mainly aided by direct air connectivity between the two countries and aggressive promotions, an official has said. The West Asian country had hosted 44,672 Indian tourists in 2016, posting over 13 per cent growth from the previous year. “India is one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound tourism markets and an important emerging market for us. Keeping this in mind, we have increased our investments heavily in India. In 2017, we are expecting 25-30 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrivals,” Israel Tourism Ministry’s Director for India Hassan Madah told PTI.