New Delhi, January 14: On Sunday afternoon Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed at the New Delhi airport, where he was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Netanyahu called PM Modi his “good friend” and said that they would together bring relations between the two countries to “new heights”. Also Read - International Flights: 18 Destinations Where Indians Can Fly to; Countries Where Indians Can't Enter | Check Full List
In bilateral talks that will be held on Monday, the two leaders are expected to discuss key deals like defence, energy, innovation and cybersecurity apart from agriculture and water technology cooperation. Also Read - International Flights: Air India to Operate Seven Flights a Week to This Country From Delhi, Bengaluru | Deets Here
In next four days, the two sides are likely to sign several pacts in the areas of oil and gas, cyber-security, an amended protocol for airports, renewable energy, co-production of films and documentaries, among others, Indian Express reported. Also Read - US Presidential Debate: "Look at China, Russia, India... Air is Filthy", Trump Justifies Stand on Climate Change
There are reports that the Union Health Ministry will also sign an agreement with Israel’s Saare Tzedek Hospital on Homeopathy and Ayurveda. The Science and Technology Ministry will also sign a pact with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
PM Netanyahu is leading a high-profile delegation of 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies drawn from areas such as water, healthcare, agriculture, cyber-security, healthcare and security.
Moments after Netanyahu landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport with his wife Sara, he tweeted, “Thank you to my good friend, Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi, who surprised me with a personal welcome at the airport upon my arrival in India. Together we will bring the relations between our countries to new heights.”
PM Modi, who welcomed Netanyahu with a hug upon his arrival, tweeted in Hebrew, “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.”.
The two leaders then went then went ahead to the Teen Murti Chowk in central Delhi, which was formally renamed as Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk. Both the leaders also laid a wreath and signed the visitor’s book at the memorial, where PM Modi wrote, in Gujarati, that he saluted the “great Indian traditions of selfless sacrifice and penance” of Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of the city of Haifa during the World War I.
The three bronze statues at Teen Murti Chock represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade, which carried out the victorious assault on the fortified city of Haifa on September 23, 1918, during World War I. Forty-four Indian soldiers died the battle.
The visit also marks 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel and takes place six months after Modi’s trip to Israel, the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish state.
Netanyahu is the second Israeli prime minister to visit India after a gap of 15 years. In 2003, Ariel Sharon visited India. In next five days, Netanyahu will be visiting Delhi Agra, Gujarat and Mumbai and will be accompanied by PM Modi on extensive portions of his visit.
Israel is looking to invest $68.6 million to boost cooperation with India in areas such as agriculture, tourism, technology and innovation over a period of four years.