PM Netanyahu and India's Modi.
(photo credit: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterized the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that will begin on Tuesday as “historic,” and said he will accompany him to many of the sites on his visit.
This is an honor reserved for only the most important of visits – such as that of the US president. Ordinarily, Netanyahu meets heads of government for one meeting, and often times a dinner or lunch meeting as well.
In Modi's case, however, he is expected to meet him at the airport on Tuesday afternoon, along with the country's top ministers and officials, what is known as Segel Alef
, and spend much of the next two days together with Modi, accompanying him to an agricultural installation, as well as the Israel Museum and a rally Modi is to hold for people of Indian origin living in Israel.
“I will accompany the prime minister to many events during his visit, as is fitting to honor the leader of the largest democracy in the world,” he said.
Netanyahu said the visit, the first one by an Indian Prime Minister in nearly 70 years of statehood, “Is an expression of the relationship between us and India that has grown tighter over the last number of years.”
Netanyahu said the tightening of relations is the result of both his and Modi's initiative, and that they discussed the need for this when they met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in September 2014, just a few months after Modi was elected. They met on the sidelines of the Paris climate conference a year later, and have spoken on the phone numerous times.
“This visit will deepen our cooperation in a wide range of fields – security, agriculture, water energy – essentially in all the areas that Israel is involved in,” Netanyahu said.