India’s Prime Minister Modi Embarks On Historic Visit to Israel

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With bilateral relations at all-time high, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a 3-day visit to Israel today. Prime Minister Modi becomes the first ever sitting Indian premier to visit the Jewish State.

Developmental issues such as agriculture technology and water management will be high on agenda during the historic visit that marks the 25 years of bilateral diplomatic ties. Both countries are expected to sign an agreement setting up a $40 million innovation fund to finance joint research in agriculture, water, energy and technology during the prime ministerial visit.

“In the last few years the world has seen the India Israel relationship come out from the perception of just Defense related activities to showcasing a fantastic connection in agricultural, educational, entrepreneurial & cultural cooperation. It’s these new areas which are making this bilateral a model for the rest of the world to follow.” Rishi Suri, senior international affairs editor at Indian newspaper Daily Milap, told Israellycool

Ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit, the Government of Israel announced the approval of “Cabinet Resolution on Strengthening Ties with the Republic of India.” Embassy of Israel in New Delhi detailed these proposed measures aimed at promoting bilateral cooperation in “Agriculture, Water, Innovation and Research and Development, Space, Cyber and Health”:

A flagship project will be undertaken by the both governments in the field of water and agriculture, which will demonstrate Israel’s capabilities while providing solutions to current Indian needs. The project will include, inter alia, solutions to the following concerns: water conservation, reducing pollution along the Ganges River, using recycled water in irrigation and increasing agricultural production.

“This landmark resolution is a significant tool providing ministries and governmental agencies a roadmap and resources in order to implement PM Netanyahu’s vision of further bolstering the relationship between both our countries,” Israel envoy to India, Ambassador Daniel Carmon said.

Prime Minister Modi, an avid Twitter user with over 30 million followers, shared his expectations ahead of the visit:

Prime Minister Modi’s teamed up with Prime Minister Netanyahu to write an op-ed in the Times of India

The deep connection between our peoples reflects our many similarities in spirit, if not in size. Ours are two modern, vibrant democracies that draw on our rich historical traditions while striving to seize the promise of the future for our peoples.

The majority of some 80,000 Jews of Indian origin living in Israel cherish their heritage and link to India. On Wednesday, 5,000 of them are expected to attend PM Modi’s public reception in Tel Aviv hosted by the Indian community. Indian Prime Minister is keen to build on this existing legacy. India plans to set up a cultural centre in the country to promote cultural and diaspora ties.

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Author is an Indian journalist based in Germany. In 2012 he founded "Indian For Israel", an Indian Diaspora initiative to combat antisemitism in Europe and foster stronger Israel-India ties. He graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and has worked for over 15 years in government and private sector. He is Senior Distinguished Fellow at New York-based Gatestone Institute.

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