Israel PM Netanyahu leaves for 'historic' visit to India



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu landed in New Delhi India on Sunday morning [IL time].

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an official welcoming ceremony upon his arrival in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv on Israel July 4, 2017.

During the rally, the protesters set an effigy plastered with Netanyahu pictures on fire.

He will have a bilateral meeting with Modi and also attend the annual "Raisina Dialogue", a geopolitical conference, and address an India-Israeli CEO forum in the capital, said Joint Secretary in External Affairs Ministry B Bala Bhaskar.

Joint Secretary (West Asia-North Africa division) in the ministry B Bala Bhaskar said the Palestinian issue is likely to figure in the talks between the two prime ministers besides other key issues of mutual importance.

Asked whether purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles Z$I*(ATGMs) from Israel through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route will be discussed during Netanyahu's visit, Bhaskar refused to give a direct reply.

Before embarking on the flight Netanyahu said that "we are strengthening the relationship between Israel and this important world power".

Israel and India have developed close ties in high-tech and defense cooperation. "New areas of cooperation are actively being explored". It was decided that both Prime Ministers should exchange visits.

He is the second Prime Minister from his country after Ariel Sharon to visit India in the last 25 years of a diplomatic relationship.

Netanyahu said he: "Very much appreciates the gesture". They will also visit the iCreate innovation campus and centre.

Netanyahu's visit comes six months after PM Narendra Modi became the first-ever Indian PM to visit Israel.

It said he will reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.

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