Modi hugs 'friend' Netanyahu as Israel PM arrives on 'historic' visit

Graphic showing Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in New Delhi on Sunday for a six-day visit which comes a few weeks after India voted to nullify the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in the UN General Assembly.

The visit comes months after Modi's trip to Israel in July previous year - a first by an Indian Prime Minister since the two countries established diplomatic ties only in 1992 even as India had recognized the Jewish state soon after it was founded. Mr Netanyahu will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind.

Israel will be investing Dollars 68.6 million to boost cooperation with India in areas like tourism, technology, agriculture and innovation over a period of four years, a senior official here said ahead of Netanyahu's visit.

Before embarking on the flight Netanyahu said that "we are strengthening the relationship between Israel and this important world power". He will be the first Israel PM to visit India since 2003.

The leaders will lay a wreath and sign the visitor's book.

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pressed the importance of maintaining Iran's nuclear accord, the Elysee Palace said on Saturday.

The commitment is in addition to the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund of Dollars 40 million over five years with equal contribution from both sides that has already been agreed between the two nations, Deputy Director General of Israel's Foreign Ministry, Gilad Cohen, earlier told PTI.

Rupani was quoted by NDTV: "According to the tentative schedule, Modi and Netanyahu would first visit the Sabarmati Ashram on their arrival here on January 17".

Later in the day, he will meet Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. It was decided that both Prime Ministers should exchange visits.

During the visit, the two leaders will hold comprehensive dialogue on a variety of issues. He will reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.



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