Netanyahu likely to visit India before elections

PM speaks to Putin on Iran, Syria

July 8, 2019 21:31
1 minute read.
Netanyahu likely to visit India before elections

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Israel Business Summit . (photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)


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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently in the country for the longest spell since August 2015, is gearing up for some foreign travel before the September 17 election, announcing on Monday that he has been invited for a visit to India.

Diplomatic officials confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the initiative for the visit came from Netanyahu, and that while the dates have yet been finalized, the visit will likely take place in early September.

This would follow a pattern that Netanyahu has set over the last couple of election cycles.

For instance, just prior to Election Day in April, he traveled to Washington in late March for a meeting with President Donald Trump, who recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. And on April 4 – just five days before the election – he held a meeting in the Kremlin with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Russians assisted in retrieving the remains of Zachary Baumel, the IDF soldier who was missing in action for 37 years.

That is the last time Netanyahu traveled abroad.

Likewise, just prior to the 2015 elections, Netanyahu traveled to Washington where he addressed AIPAC and a joint session of Congress.
Those high-profile visits, just before elections, highlight his diplomatic experience, one of the areas he wants to stress during the campaign.

Netanyahu, who has an excellent relationship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – on Twitter they often refer to each other as “my friend Narendra” and “my friend Bibi” – arranged for a visit to India in February, but canceled at the last minute. While the two men speak occasionally on the phone, they have not met since Netanyahu visited India in January 2018. Seven months earlier, Modi was the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel.

Netanyahu also spoke on Monday with Putin, who invited him to Moscow for the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. That ceremony, however, is not scheduled to take place until next May. The leaders discussed Iran and Syria and relations between the two countries, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

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