Modi receives a warm welcome in Israel, discusses trade, terrorism; 7 MoUs signed
The Dollar Business Bureau
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Israel is a landmark moment for the Jewish nation, which is seeking the friendships of powerful partners and clients for its cutting-edge military equipment.
Modi started his historic’ visit on Tuesday - the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel and received an overwhelming welcome by the Jewish state.
Reflecting the significance that this is a first visit by an Indian premier since the establishment of Israel 70 years ago, the Middle East nation rolled out a red carpet to welcome the PM when he landed at Tel Aviv's International Airport. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke the protocol and received Modi with handshakes and hugs. Netanyahu was present with his entire Cabinet and representatives from several religious orders.
"Apka swagat hai mere dost,” Netanyahu said in Hindi while welcoming Modi.
We have been waiting almost 70 years, in fact, because your's is a truly historic visit. It is the first time that an Indian Prime Minister is visiting Israel. We receive you with open arms. We love India. We admire your culture, your democracy and your commitment to progress,” he said in his welcome address.
Recalling his first meeting with Modi at the United Nations three years ago, Netanyahu said, “I remember what you told me in our first meeting - when it comes to India and Israel relations, the sky is the limit. But now, Prime Minister, let me add even sky is not the limit. We are also cooperating in space.”
Speaking later, PM Modi said, “It is my honour to be the first ever Indian prime minister to undertake this ‘ground-breaking’ visit to Israel. Building a strong and resilient relationship with Israel will be my intent and focus...We have to secure our societies against the common threat of terrorism.”
Mentioning that India is an old civilisation but a young country, he said, “We have a talented and skilled youth, who are our driving force.”
Modi, while describing Israel as a ‘vital development partner’, said, “This is an exciting journey that we will undertake together, for the good of our people and our society.”
Above all the friendship and overt affection, India hopes to leverage its ties with Israel to attract further investments, and benefit from Israel’s expertise in cutting-edge technology and defence equipment.
On Wednesday, the day two of Modi’s visit to the Middle East nation, he met Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and held discussions on a host of issues including defence, economic cooperation and terrorism.
According to Gopal Baglay, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), PM Modi was given a warm welcome by Israel’s Head of State.
“Beginning the morning with the First Citizen! Day 2 in Jerusalem starts with PM Modi calling on President,” Baglay said in a tweet.
Recalling his India visit, President Rivlin said in the meeting with PM Modi that he can never forget that visit, while claiming “it was a very memorable visit.”
The Israeli President further said that the two countries will turn out to be great partners and the cooperation between them will only become strong on various fronts.
PM Modi thanked Israel and its people for the rousing welcome.
Indicating a deep bonding between the two nations, Modi gave a formula of 'I for I' meaning 'Israel for India' and 'India for Israel'.
Modi also held bilateral talks with Israeli PM Netanyahu on the second day of his visit. In his meeting, Modi mentioned his visit and discussions in Israel which reflected the trust and clarity in unfolding chapters in bilateral ties.
In a joint conference, Netanyahu said, “This is a deeply moving moment for me. India and Israel are changing the world together. It's a marriage made in heaven.”
“We are being challenged by the forces of terror. Terror undermines our countries. We have decided to cooperate on the matter of terror,” he added.
In the conference Modi said, “Prime Minister Netanyahu and I had productive discussions covering extensive issues. We discussed how our cooperation can help the cause of global peace and security.”
“We agreed to do more in the direction of trade. Businesses on both sides should take primary seat. India and Israel live in complex geographies. India has suffered violence and terrorism and so has Israel,” he added.
“Our people hold natural affinity and warmth for each other. I am confident that strength of the links, old and new will hold us in good stead,” Modi said.
The two leaders also witnessed the exchange of seven agreements across sectors including MoU for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Investment Fund, MoU for Water Conservation in India, MoU on State Water Utility Reform in India, Agreement on India-Israel Development Cooperation – three year work programme in Agriculture 2018-2020, Plan of Cooperation regarding Atomic Clocks, MoU regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO Optical Link, MoU regarding cooperation in Electric Propulsion for Small satellites.
On Thursday, the third-day of his visit, Modi will travel to Haifa to pay homage to brave Indian soldiers.