Stage set for Israeli PM's six-day visit, starting Sunday

Stage set for Israeli PM's six-day visit, starting Sunday

Stage set for Israeli PM's six-day visit, starting Sunday

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to arrive in New Delhi on Sunday on a week-long visit, making him the second Israeli head of the government to visit India since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's 2003 visit. Over time, he continued, he is expecting a change in India's voting on issues relating to Israel at worldwide forums.

Let it be known that India voted against Israel during a session of United Nations in December, however, Modi's counterpart seems to be giving two hoots to the move. "We can not always fulfil those requests", he said. He said the discussion on Free Trade Agreement with Israel is underway.

To try and drive home the point that it did not wish to be a mere buyer but wanted to attract manufacturing investments, India first cancelled and then said a $500-million deal to buy 8,000 Israeli Spike anti-tank missiles could be revived.

Official sources had said the proposal to acquire the missile system from the Israeli firm faced hurdles when it apparently expressed reservations in ensuring full transfer of technology as per the provisions of the Make in India initiative.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Netanyahu will hold talks on Monday covering entire expanse of the ties and explore new areas of cooperation to further deepen the "very very special relationship", the external affairs ministry had said on January 11, 2018.

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Israel PM Netanyahu to embark on a six-day visit to India
Netanyahu would be arriving in Mumbai on Wednesday in the evening where he would be meeting with the Indian Jewish community. Meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu are also scheduled for Monday.

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PM Modi's office had come up with the idea of joint road show with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was in Gujarat last September for a function to formally start work on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project. He hinted that New Delhi was reconsidering buying the missiles through government to government route.

The minister will later visit Centre of Excellence, Vadrad.

The timing of the visit offers both leaders much-needed opportunity to restore the diminished trust and re-calibrate their bilateral ties.

A media highlight of that visit was a barefoot stroll though the surf together at an Israeli beach, where Modi got a demonstration of a mobile water desalination unit mounted on a dune buggy.

"The 2019 budget is a social budget focused on the growth of the Israeli economy and the strengthening of the economy", said Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu). In Mumbai on Thursday, Mr Netanyahu will meet business leaders, attend a memorial for the victims of the 2008 terror attacks on the city, and appear at Shalom Bollywood, a film industry event. The government is pulling strings to ensure presence of top producers and directors of Bollywood. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. won almost $2 billion in contracts from India previous year alone.

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