Dawn of a New Era in Friendship Between India, Israel: Netanyahu

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New Delhi: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed in New Delhi on 14 January, kickstarting his six-day India tour. He is also scheduled to visit Gujarat and Maharashtra during the week.

  • Netanyahu is on a six-day visit to India
  • Delhi’s Teen Murti Chowk formally renamed by PM Modi and Netanyahu after his arrival on 14 January
  • The Israeli PM will inaugurate the third edition of the annual Raisina Dialogue on 16 January
  • Netanyahu will also attend the ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event, aimed at exploring business opportunities for filmmakers in Israel

Netanyahu, Wife Pay Tributes at Rajghat

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara Netanyahu paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi, on Monday. Speaking at the reception, Netanyahu said:

This is a dawn of a new era in friendship between India and Israel.

Looking back at PM Modi’s recent visit to Israel, Netanyahu said that the enthusiastic response to his visit has deeply moved him and the people of Israel.

It heralds a flourishing partnership to bring prosperity, peace and progress for our people.

Trade Agreements on Agenda for Monday

Israeli PM Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold delegation level talks, sign agreements and hold a joint press statement on Monday, 15 January. Sources told The Indian Express that several deals are to be signed in the areas of oil and gas, renewable energy, film production, cyber-security and others.

Netanyahu will also meet the Indo-Israeli CEO forum in New Delhi and address a separate business event.

One UN Vote Can’t Change Our Relations: Netanyahu

Dubbing India-Israel relationship as a “marriage made in heaven,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, 14 January, that even though the Jewish state was “disappointed” by India’s vote at the UN against the Jerusalem issue, one negative vote will not affect the ties.

Netanyahu said he hoped that his visit to India will strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various areas like technology, agriculture and other spheres that are changing the world.

On being asked to comment on India’s vote at UN against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he said:

Yes, naturally we were disappointed, but this visit is a testimony that our relationship is moving on so many fronts forward.

“I don’t think one vote affects a general trend you can see in many other votes and these visits,” he told India Today in an interview.

Isareli PM Netanayhu Meets Sushma Swaraj

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi. Netanyahu who is accompanied by his wife had a brief conversation with Swaraj after renaming the Teen Murti Haifa Chowk in the capital.

PM Modi, Netanyahu Rename Teen Murti Chowk

Delhi’s Teen Murti Chowk has been renamed Teen Murti Haifa Chowk by PM Modi and his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu. The renaming was done in memory of the supreme sacrifice by Indian soldiers to liberate Haifa in Israel in 1918.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi moved on to the Teen Murti Memorial, accompanied by his guest, Benjamin Netanyahu, soon after he received the Israeli PM in the capital.

Both prime ministers, along with Netanyahu’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, will be attending a ceremony where the Teen Murti Chowk will be renamed the Teen Murti Haifa Chowk. At the memorial, all three signed a visitor’s book after the ceremony wrapped up.

Netanyahu Lands in Delhi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in Delhi for his six-day tour, and was warmly welcomed by PM Modi at the airport.

From the airport, the two leaders will head to the Teen Murti memorial for the renaming ceremony. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj later in the day.

Both prime ministers tweeted their reactions upon Netanyahu’s welcome in the country. While Netanyahu went with a more traditional approach and thanked Modi for the warm welcome, PM Modi took a more effusive approach, tweeting:

“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.”

Netanyahu Leaves for India, Calls the Visit ‘Historic’

Keen to strengthen bilateral relations “even more,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday left for India on a six-day visit along with the largest business delegation that has ever accompanied an Israeli premier on an overseas tour.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime MinisterThis evening I am leaving on an historic visit to India. I will meet the prime minister, my friend Narendra Modi, with the Indian President and with many other leaders. We will sign very many agreements.

“We are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power. This serves our security, economic, trade and tourism interests, as well as many other areas. This is a great blessing for the State of Israel,” he said.

“Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit,” Netanyahu said just before leaving for New Delhi.

On this visit I intend to strengthen bilateral relations even more. This visit is an opportunity to enhance cooperation with a global economic, security, technology and tourism power.

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s India Itinerary

The Israeli Prime Minister will be received by PM Modi, following which, the two prime ministers will move to Teen Murti Memorial for a solemn ceremony.

The leaders will lay a wreath and sign the visitor’s book. The ceremony will also mark the formal renaming of Teen Murti Chowk as the Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

The three bronze statues at Teen Murti 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 23 September 1918, during World War I.

He will then call upon External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj.

Visuals from Delhi’s Teen Murti where PM Modi and PM Netanyahu will attend ceremony to mark the formal renaming of Teen Murti Chowk .

Visuals from Delhi’s Teen Murti where PM Modi and PM Netanyahu will attend ceremony to mark the formal renaming of Teen Murti Chowk .

On Monday, Netanyahu will be given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan which will be followed by the wreath laying at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial.

He will meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi as well and hold delegation-level talks.

The two sides will sign agreements and also issue a joint press statement, after which the Israeli Prime Minister will call on President Ram Nath Kovind.

Netanyahu will be accompanied by his wife Sara as they will leave for Agra to see Taj Mahal on Tuesday. On the same day, he will visit Delhi and participate in the Raisina Dialogue, where he is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech.

Netanyahu will leave for Ahmedabad on the fourth day of his tour and visit the Sabarmati Ashram. The minister will also attend an event at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology. He will later visit the Centre of Excellence, Vadrad. After which, the minister will leave for Mumbai.

On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a power breakfast with Indian CEOs and attend a business seminar. He will also lay a wreath at Taj Hotel Mumbai and pay a visit to Nariman House – Chabad Centre.

He will also reach out to Bollywood personalities in an exclusive ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event, that aims at exploring business opportunities for Indian filmmakers in Israel.

Over 150 Speakers From 90 Countries Expected to Take Part in Raisina Dialogue

More than 150 speakers and over 550 delegates from around 90 countries are expected to take part in the third edition of the annual Raisina Dialogue, which will be inaugurated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 16 January.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also be a part of the inaugural session of the three-day long event, which will see a series of high-powered panel discussions on geopolitical issues.

The event, jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF), will take place at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi, the organisers said in a statement.

The theme of the dialogue this year is ‘Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms’, it said.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will address a session, along with Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, US Pacific Command, General Chris Deverell, Joint Forces Commander, UK, among others, the statement said.

“Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harder and former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt are among more than 150 speakers and over 550 delegates from around 90 countries who are participating in the dialogue,” it said.

Inking of Israeli Anti-Tank Missiles Deal Likely During Netanyahu’s Visit

Strengthening cooperation in key areas of trade and defence, including a possible inking of a multi-million dollar Israeli anti-tank missiles deal, is on the table during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with its envoy terming Indo-Israel ties ‘irreversible.’

Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon also downplayed India’s stand at the United Nations General Assembly over the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in place of Tel Aviv, saying New Delhi’s view “cannot influence” Indo-Israel ties.

India, last month, had joined 127 other countries to vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favour of a resolution opposing the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Without going into the contours of a possible agreement for Israeli Spike missiles, Carmon said the Spike project is an example of “Israeli engaging in Make in India” because it can be implemented through partnership between an Israeli company and Indian company.

In November, the Defence ministry had decided to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. Now, it is learnt that the government is considering buying the missiles through G-to-G route.

Carmon said that apart from top Israeli officials, a delegation of 130 businessmen will accompany Netanyahu during his visit.

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