Netanyahu deepens ties with India, looks to the future

Netanyahu said it was important to Israel that India, one of the world’s major powers, wants to develop close ties with the Jewish state.  

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded the first day of his six-day historic state visit to India on Sunday, where he was warmly received by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the airport.

Netanyahu’s official visit marks 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and takes place some six months after Modi’s historic visit to Israel in July.

Meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Netanyahu said it was “a true honor and a true delight to be here.”

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm, not only in our meetings at the level of governments and leaders, but also in the people. I see this, and it’s heartwarming,” Netanyahu stated, saying he was looking forward to eveb further improving the ties between the two countries.

In Hebrew, Netanyahu said it was important to the State of Israel that one of the world’s major powers, i.e. India, wants to develop close corroboration in many areas, including economics, trade, security and agriculture.

Swaraj said that the positive feelings surrounding Netanyahu’s visit were “mutual.”

‘That dream has come true’

“We were eagerly looking forward to your visit, and after the visit of Prime Minister Modi, all of us were very excited to receive you in India. And today, that dream has come true,” she said.

Swaraj emphasized the special friendship between the two countries, noting the reciprocal visits over the past year that reflect the deepening bond.

Ties between the two countries have warmed considerably in recent years, especially since Modi took office.

The relationship was given a further boost during the visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Israel in 2015 and the reciprocal visit of President Reuven Rivlin to India this past December.

In the evening, Modi hosted a dinner for Netanyahu and his wife Sara at his official residence in Delhi.

During the official visit, professional meetings will be held between the two sides, and bilateral agreements will be signed in energy, cyber and aviation.