New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday broke protocol to receive his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara in Delhi.
Netanyahu arrived in the country with the largest business delegation ever to accompany an Israeli premier on an overseas tour.
It is noteworthy that the visit is the first by an Israeli PM to the country after 15 years. The last such trip was by Ariel Sharon, who came to India in 2003.
Before leaving for his six-day trip to India, Netanyahu promised to “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 added.
Shortly after receiving Netanyahu, PM Modi tweeted that the latter’s visit will “further cement” bilateral ties – even expressing the sentiment in Hebrew.
On his part, PM Netanyahu thanked his “good friend” Modi for the welcome accorded to him. The ministry of external affairs called Netanyahu’s visit a “fitting culmination to the silver jubilee year of the formal relationship.”
The first stop for the two leaders will be the Teen Murti monument, where they will lay a wreath commemorating the role of three Indian regiments which fought at the battle of Haifa over a century ago. It will be formally renamed the Teen Murti Haifa Chowk, while Teen Murti Marg will be known as Teen Murti Haifa Marg. Later tonight, PM Modi will host a dinner for the Israeli PM.