Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on a six-day visit to India and on arrival was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, set aside diplomatic protocol, decided to greet the foreign prime minister himself at the airport. Narendra Modi in order to develop further bonhomie between the two countries was present at the airport and welcomed Benjamin Netanyahu with a hug. “Welcome to India, my friend PM @netanyahu! Your visit to India is historic and special. It will further cement the close friendship between our nations,” tweeted Narendra Modi in both English and Hebrew ahead of the arrival of the guest. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accompanied by his wife on his state visit and a 130-member delegation from various sectors including cyber, agriculture and defence. Netanyahu has become the second Prime Minister only after Ariel Sharon to visit India in 15 years. Both the leaders are expected to hold dialogues on various issues and will sign agreements following a joint press statement during his visit. On Sunday, Netanyahu attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Teen Murti Memorial in the afternoon to mark the formal renaming of Teen Murti Chowk as the Teen Murti Haifa Chowk, renamed after the Israeli city of Haifa. Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were received by Army Chief Bipin Rawat Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. The leaders, after laying a wreath, signed the visitor’s book at the memorial.
Teen Murti Haifa Chowk has three bronze statues that represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were a part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. The Brigade carried out a victorious and sacrificial assault on the fortified city of Haifa to liberate the city on September 23, 1918 during the World War I. On Monday, Israeli PM will be given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan which will be followed by another wreath-laying ceremony at Mahatma Gandhi memorial. Later on Monday, Netanyahu is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind.
Netanyahu will be leaving for Agra with his wife on Tuesday and participate in the Raisina Dialogue on the same day in Delhi. On Wednesday, Modi will accompany Netanyahu to Gujarat where he will be welcomed with a road show from the airport to Sabarmati Ashram, similar to the one Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was greeted with. The PM will also attend an event at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate). On Thursday, Israeli PM is expected to meet business entrepreneurs and also celebrities from Bollywood in an exclusive event named “Shalom Bollywood’ that looks to open shooting opportunities for Bollywood in Israel.