Modi welcomes Israel PM with iconic bear hug

Pauline Gross
January 14, 2018

"Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit", Netanyahu said just before leaving for New Delhi. A few youths in the Banglasahib Gurudwara complex say in Israeli language Hebrew, "Your visit will be awesome".

Israel says Iran is dedicated to its destruction and supports global terror, in addition to backing Palestinian Islamic militants Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah.

It also comes about six months after Modi's landmark visit to Israel. "We will sign very many agreements", Netanyahu said in statement.

Later in the day, he will meet Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

Netanyahu is on a six-day visit to India.

Modi and Netanyahu formally renamed the Teenmurti Chowk as Teenmurti-Haifa Chowk, commemorating the centenary of the historic Battle of Haifa.

The Israeli leader will visit Modi's home state of Gujarat where he is expected to participate in a joint road show with Indian prime minister, according to the NDTV.

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In a move described by the Indian foreign ministry as a "departure from protocol", Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Netanyahu at the Delhi airport on Sunday.

Modi's meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem in July previous year saw India and Israel upgrading bilateral relations to a strategic partnership with special focus on agriculture and water. A series of agreements and pacts are likely to be signed by the two sides.

Prime Minister of Israel will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind during his stay in New Delhi.

Also, a cancelled defense deal will also be discussed during the visit.

Ahead of the visit, Netanyahu had said, "Well I would have preferred a different vote to be frank, but I don't think it materially changes the tremendous flowering of relations between India and Israel". The two leaders will witnessing several innovative technologies in the field of water, agriculture and health at iCreate and visit a Centre of Excellence.

Netanyahu and Modi kicked off the visit with a stop at a memorial to Indian soldiers who fought in World War I to help liberate the Israeli city of Haifa.

After their initial greeting, the two leaders held their joined hands aloft as they posed for the cameras.

Other reports by GizPress

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