Israel PM Netanyahu to arrive on six-day visit to India

Israel PM Netanyahu to arrive on six-day visit to India

Netanyahu pointed out that apart from meeting with the Russian leader, he would also make a visit to India soon, holding talks with the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while he also meant to meet with US President Donald Trump "in Washington in March, if not sooner".

Netanyahu will arrive here on January 14 and depart from Mumbai on January 19.

During his terms in office as prime minister - in 1996-1999 and from 2009 till now - Netanyahu has visited Russian Federation 12 times. "Netanyahu and Modi are ideological soul mates - one represents right-wing ultra-Jewish nationalism while the other is an advocate of right-wing Hindutva nationalism", the CPI (M) said in an editorial of its mouthpiece People's Democracy.

Mr Netanyahu will be accompanied by a business delegation.

"We have uprgaded our relationship to strategic level with special focus on agriculture and water", he said.

There has been speculation in Israel that the Netanyahu family wishes to groom 26-year-old Yair for a future in politics - and some in Israel cynically call him the future leader.

Israel's foreign ministry deputy director general for Asia, Gilad Cohen, on Wednesday said the trip was meant to further deepen political, trade and cultural ties. India has a long and wide ranging defence cooperation with Israel.

Ahead of the visit, Israeli 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".

On January 15, Netanyahu will meet with the Indo-Israeli CEO forum here and address a separate business event.

Netanyahu will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind. He will deliver a speech at the Raisina Dialogue on January 16.

The two leaders, who hit it off during Modi's visit to Israel in July previous year, the first by an Indian prime minister since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992, would visit two centres of excellence and inaugurate another such facility. They will also visit the iCreate innovation campus and centres. He will reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.

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