Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's western home state of Gujarat rolled out the red carpet for his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, who took part in a grand roadshow in Ahmedabad city.
Modi received Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at the airport. From there, the prime ministers traveled in a motorcade to Sabarmati Ashram, a hermitage which was set up by Mahatma Gandhi - an icon of the Indian independence movement.
Reportedly, the leaders were originally supposed to ride in an open-top vehicle. However, it was changed due to security reasons. Folk artists performed along the eight kilometer-long route of the roadshow and thousands lined the roads amid tight security.
On Tuesday, the Netanyahus visited the Taj Mahal during a trip to Agra. Netanyahu and his entourage flew 30 minutes from New Delhi to an air force base in Agra. He was met there by Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, and given a traditional welcome by female dancers in colorful costume, some dressed as peacocks who fell to the ground as the Netanyahus approached.
During Netanyahu’s visit, the Taj Mahal – one of the most visited sites in the world – was closed to tourists.
Netanyahu flew back to New Delhi in the early evening, delivering the keynote speech at the Raisina Dialogue, a world affairs symposium put on each year by India’s Foreign Ministry and a leading Indian think tank
Netanyahu, accompanied by a 130-member delegation on his six-day India visit, is scheduled to visit the financial capital Mumbai on Thursday. On Wednesday evening, Netanyahu will travel to Mumbai and remain there until returning home on Friday morning.
Moshe Holtzberg, called “Baby Moshe,” will join Netanyahu on Thursday in a dedication ceremony at the Chabad House in Mumbai for a memorial to the victims of the attack there. Holtzberg returned to Mumbai for the first time since both his parents were killed in the 2008 terrorist attack at the Chabad House.India and Israel have grown closer
since Modi took office in 2014, widening commercial cooperation beyond their longstanding defense ties. Modi became the first sitting Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel last summer.