New Delhi, Jan 15: India and Israel inked nine Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in various fields on Monday, the second day of Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s six-day tour. Speaking after holding a delegation-level talks with his Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed Netanyahu as “good friend” and said that his visit marks a special beginning in the relationship between the two nations. Also Read - From Restoration of Article 370 to Blocking Bihar's Development: PM Modi Lambasts Opposition at First Rally in Sasaram | Key Takeaways

“My good friend welcome to India, your visit marks a special beginning to our new year calendar. Our discussions today were marked by convergence to accelerate our engagement and scale up our partnership,” PM Modi said. Also Read - Bihar Assembly Election 2020 LIVE News And Updates: Don't Lie to Biharis, Rahul Attacks PM Modi; Tejashwi Promises 10 Lakh Govt Jobs in First Cabinet Meet

Highlights of Modi, Netanyahu Joint Statement: Also Read - Wear Masks, Maintain Social Distancing: Modi in Message to Bengal For Durga Puja Festivities | Highlights

PM Narendra Modi: 

    • My good friend welcome to India, your visit marks a special beginning to our new year calendar.
    • Today and yesterday we reviewed progress in our relations and renewed our relations on the opportunities that beckon us.
    • Our discussions today were marked by convergence to accelerate our engagement and scale up our partnership
    • In Defence, I have invited Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalized FDI regime to make more in India with our companies.
    • We will strengthen existing pillars of cooperation in areas that touch the lives of our peoples. These are agriculture, science and technology and security.We exchanged views on scaling up the Centers of Excellence that have been a main-stay of agricultural cooperation: PM Modi
    • Last year in July, I carried the greetings & friendship of 1.25 billion Indians during my momentous journey to Israel. In return, I was overwhelmed by the generous affection & warmth of the Israeli people led by my friend Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu).
    • We have imparted our shared impatience to the implementation of our earlier decisions. The results are already visible on the ground. Our discussions today were marked by convergence to accelerate our engagement and to scale up our partnership.

Benjamin Netanyahu

  • You are a revolutionary leader, you have revolutionised India and catapulting this state to the future, your visit to Israel was groundbreaking as it was the first time an Indian leader visited.
  • Jews in India have never witnessed antisemitism like in some other countries, this is a tribute to India’s great civilization, tolerance and democracy.
  • It (PM Modi’s visit to Israel) excited all Israelis & of course many Israelis of Indian descent & origin came. Well I thought I was in a rock concert. But it was a historic event.
  • We remember the horrific savagery in Mumbai(26/11 attacks), we will never give in and will fight back.
  • My friend Narendra if anytime you want to do a Yoga class with me,you are welcome, thought it will be a bit of stretch.

Earlier Netanyahu was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those present during the ceremony.

“It began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel, which created tremendous enthusiasm that continues with my visit here, which, I must say, is deeply moving for me and my wife and the entire people of Israel,” Netanyahu said after the ceremony. “And, I think, it helps us flourishing our partnership to bring prosperity, peace and progress for both our people,” he added.

This is the first visit to India by an Israeli Prime Minister since Ariel Sharon came in 2003. (Also Read: One UN Vote Will Not Determine Our Relations, Says Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu)

Breaking protocol, Modi on Sunday personally went to the airport and received his Israeli counterpart who arrived in New Delhi to begin a six-day visit that will also take him to Mumbai and Gujarat.