Hours after landing on a three-day visit to India, Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen decided to cut short the trip and is likely to return home late Tuesday in view of certain developments in Israel.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Cohen will leave for Tel Aviv after calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Israeli foreign minister arrived in New Delhi this morning on a visit to explore ways to expand bilateral ties and prepare the ground for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to India this year.
“Foreign Minister Eli Cohen landed a short while ago in New Delhi, the capital of India, and as soon as he landed he received a security update,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“In light of the events in Israel, Foreign Minister Cohen decided to cut short his diplomatic visit to India and return to Israel after the meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that will take place today,” it said.
According to reports from Tel Aviv, Israel has launched a major military offensive targeting some militants in Gaza Strip. At least 12 Palestinians, including three commanders of the militant group Islamic Jihad, have been killed in the air strikes, they said.
“A short while ago I landed in India for a very important strategic and political visit. I am receiving constant updates from Israel on the situation and I hope to meet today with the Indian Prime Minister, and after that will shorten my visit and go back to Israel,” Cohen said.
The ties between India and Israel have been on an upswing in the last few years in a range of sectors, including defence, agriculture and water management.
In January, Prime Minister Modi had a telephonic conversation with his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu during which both leaders agreed on the potential for further strengthening bilateral strategic cooperation.