Prime Minister Modi receives Israel PM Netanyahu at airport

After getting a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Netanyahu and his wife moved to Rajghat where they paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi

After getting a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Netanyahu and his wife moved to Rajghat where they paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi

During his stay, he will also visit Gujarat and Mumbai.

The Prime Minister's Office said that Netanyahu had been expecting to be met by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and was surprised to see Modi waiting for him on the ground at Air Force State New Delhi.

"Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit", Netanyahu said just before leaving for New Delhi.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will arrive on Sunday and depart from Mumbai on Friday, January 19. He is the first Israeli PM to visit India since 2003.

Giving utmost importance to relations with India, he said "We are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power".

A press release published by the French presidency said this on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosting a private dinner for Netanyahu Sunday evening.


The ministry of external affairs called Netanyahu's visit a "fitting culmination to the silver jubilee year of the formal relationship".

On Tuesday Israeli PM accompanied by his wife Sara would visit Taj Mahal in Agra and in the evening he will participate in the Raisina Dialogue in the capital.

Modi would be accompanying Netanyahu to Gujarat on Wednesday where he will be welcomed in the same fashion as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was with a road show in Ahmedabad.

Modi's meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem in July previous year saw India and Israel upgrading bilateral relations to a strategic partnership with special focus on agriculture and water. The two leaders will have an 8-km long road from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram.

In Mumbai, Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet Jewish community leaders and select members of the Indian business community. Touching upon the trade and business aspects of Netanyahu's visit, Carmon said a 130-strong delegation of businessmen involved in technologies related to agriculture, water, cyber, defence industries, food processing, will accompany the Israeli leader.

The first stop for the two leaders will be the Teen Murti monument, where they will lay a wreath commemorating the role of three Indian regiments which fought at the battle of Haifa over a century ago.

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