Indian PM describes ties with Israel as "special" on eve of historic visit

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-04 00:16:53|Editor: MJ
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NEW DELHI, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday described Delhi's ties with Israel as "special" as he said terrorism and trade will be on the table during talks with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on the eve of his visit to the Jewish state.

Modi will on Tuesday embark on a three-day trip to Israel, the first-ever by an Indian prime minister since this country's independence from Britain. Apart from meeting Netanyahu, Modi will also meet President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and address the major business figures of the two countries.

"Tomorrow, I begin a historic visit to Israel, a very special partner of India's... As the first Indian prime minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer," Modi said in a statement.

He also tweeted: "I look forward to holding extensive talks with my friend, @IsraeliPM @netanyahu, who shares a commitment for vibrant India-Israel ties."

With India and Israel marking 25 years of their diplomatic relations, the prime minister said that his program during the visit will give him an opportunity to engage with a cross-section of Israeli society.

"I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two peoples. I hope to get insights into Israel's accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits," he said.

On the economic front, Modi hoped of bringing in Israeli investments into this country. "I will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and start-ups to discuss our shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground."

In a related interview to the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, Modi said that his visit is "based on the deep centuries-old connection between our two peoples."

"My visit has its own significance as this is the first time ever that an Indian Prime Minister is visiting Israel. I am confident that my visit will lead to further strengthening of our relations in different areas and also open up new priorities for cooperation," Modi said.

He added "I share the opinion of many of my people, who see Israel as a beacon of technology, as a country that has managed to survive even though the odds were against it."