Netanyahu Hails PM Modi’s Upcoming Israel Visit as ‘Historic’

Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi in New York, May 28, 2014. (IsraeliPM/Flickr)
The Israeli cabinet Sunday was set to approve a number of measures that deepen ties with India, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to the Jewish state July 5-6.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at his weekly cabinet meeting, “In the 70 years of [Israel’s] existence, no Indian prime minister has ever visited and this is a further expression of the state of Israel’s military, economic and diplomatic strength….Ties between Israel and India are on a constant upswing.”

The new measures will increase Israel’s exports to India, strengthen collaboration in water and agriculture technology, establish a joint fund for research and innovation, and boost Indian tourism to Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, during the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris on November 30, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

In 2016, trade between Israel and India amounted to $4.2 billion, with $1.8 billion in imports from India to Israel and $2.4 billion in exports from Israel to India, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

Last week, hundreds of Israelis marked the 25th anniversary of Israel-India diplomatic relations on the 3rd International Yoga Day in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. Modi delivered greetings to the event in a video message.