Modi welcomes Israeli PM at start of India trip

Modi welcomes Israeli PM at start of India trip

Modi welcomes Israeli PM at start of India trip

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on a six-day visit to India. "We can not always fulfil those requests and this is why we are two different countries", he told reporters here. Reuven Rivlin, the current president of the West Asian nation, visited India in 2016.

"Our policy is not influenced by any third country. our policy is independent", he said when asked about India's position on the sensitive issue.

"Modi extended an invitation to Netanyahu to visit India at a mutually convenient time" during a July 5 press conference in Jerusalem.

Modi welcomes Israeli PM at start of India trip

"This is a very very special relationship".

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.

The build up to Netanyahu's visit was soured this month when India called off a deal to buy 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel's state-owned defence contractor Rafael.

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In November, the defence ministry had made a decision to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. "This visit will strengthen the close ties between our countries".

He said aim will be to further boost cooperation in a range of sectors including water, agriculture, scientific research and education. He is the first Israeli PM to visit India since 2003.

Israel Ambassador Daniel Carmon said, "The Prime Minister's visit to India is the grand finale to the celebrations of 25 years of Growing Partnership between India and Israel".

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The Israeli leader, accompanied by dozens of Israeli businessmen, will visit the Centre of Excellence in Agriculture at Vadrad in Gujarat and interact with business leaders in Mumbai. He will also reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, left Israel for India on Saturday night, accompanied by 130 businesspeople from over a hundred Israeli companies.

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