PM Modi kicks off historic Israel visit
Netanyahu welcomed Modi in Hindi uttering "Aapka swagat hai mere dost", while Modi said "Shalom".
Both leaders further highlighted the historic nature of the visit and the importance of India-Israel relations.
PM Modi in Israel: What's happening?
PM Modi's Israel visit
PM Modi is scheduled to visit Israel on July 4-6, becoming the first Indian PM to visit the country. Modi's visit also coincides with the 25th anniversary of India-Israel diplomatic relations. He had previously visited Israel as Gujarat CM a decade ago.
India was one of the first countries to recognize Israel in 1950 and established diplomatic relations with it in 1992.
India and Israel have many things in common. For one, they have both been former British colonies partitioned on religious lines and thrive in hostile neighbourhoods.
Both countries have further been victims of terrorism and has sizeable diaspora in each other's countries.
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We have waited so long for this: Modi and Netanyahu
"We have been waiting for the last 70 years", said Netanyahu while highlighting the importance of the visit.
Pointing to vast avenues for bilateral co-operation, he stated, "We can do even more, even better together."
Acknowledging that he felt privileged to be the first Indian PM to undertake the "groundbreaking visit", PM Modi hoped that India and Israel can together work against terrorism.
Symbolic convergences in India-Israel relations
Modi noted that his visit highlighted centuries-old relations between the two countries
Referring to both Modi and himself as 'tireless reformers', Netanyahu noted that both of them believe in securing a better future and in the strength of talent-based partnerships.
He further referred to India and Israel as sister democracies with "deep respect for the past and boundless optimism for the future".
Modi articulates India's expectations from Israel
Modi sought to build a strong security partnership with Israel to respond to shared threats to peace and prosperity, including terrorism.
He further noted that India was focusing on using technology to meet development priorities and provide a scope for strengthening links between academia, scientific research and business.
He further sought work with Netanyahu to evolve a clear action agenda to realize these expectations.
Personal chemistry between Modi and Netanyahu
Netanyahu has been unusually warm to PM Modi and broke protocol to welcome him at the airport. Both leaders further shared several hugs. Netanyahu further accompanied Modi to various events including his visit to the Danziger flower farm, where a chrysanthemum flower was named 'Modi'!
India and Israel are expected to ink a number of MoUs across various areas including agriculture, water management, outer space co-operation and education.
India might also move towards boosting Israeli firms' role for 'Make in India' and ink agreements on defence and cyber security co-operation.
India hopes to finalize the Indo-Israeli business fund with a $40 million-corpus, which was approved by Israel recently.