Israeli PM to Visit India, Hold Roadshow in Gujarat With PM Modi
They are also likely to visit the Sabarmati Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi’s abode in Ahmedabad.
A warm welcome awaits Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu when the two visit the former's home state, which will likely be on 17 January, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Thursday.
The two leaders, who hit it off during Modi's visit to Israel in July last year (the first by an Indian PM since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992), will visit two centres of excellence and inaugurate another such facility.
They are also likely to visit the Sabarmati Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi’s abode in Ahmedabad, Rupani said.
According to an Ahmedabad civic body official, a joint roadshow on an 8 km stretch from the city airport to the Sabarmati Ashram is also on the cards.
"According to the tentative schedule, Modi and Netanyahu would first visit the Sabarmati Ashram on their arrival here on 17 January. Both the dignitaries will be accorded a grand welcome," Rupani told reporters.
From the ashram, Modi and Netanyahu would go to 'iCreate', an autonomous centre of excellence near Bavla town close to the city, Rupani said.
‘iCreate’ was formally launched in 2011 by Modi when he was Gujarat’s chief minister. The institution mentors budding entrepreneurs and guides them to set up start-ups, according to an official.
The two Prime Ministers will visit the Centre of Excellence in Vadrad and inaugurate a a research facility for cultivation of dates palms in Bhuj via video conference, the chief minister said.
The Israeli Prime Minister is also expected to reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive “Shalom Bollywood” event.
India and Israel have deep defence and security ties, and Netanyahu's four-day visit beginning 14 January is likely to further strengthen these. The two sides are also likely to discuss ways to further enhance cooperation in high technology, agriculture, water management and trade.
Not disheartened by India's vote against Israel at the UN General Assembly on the issue of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed hope that bilateral ties would receive a further boost during his milestone visit to the country.
India in December voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the US for its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Netanyahu, who would be leaving for India on 14 January, said:
Well, I would have preferred a different vote to be frank, but I don’t think it materially changes the tremendous flowering of relations between India and Israel.
When asked about the impact of India's recent decision to cancel a half a billion dollars defence deal related to development of spike antitank guided missiles, the Israeli leader said, “I think you are going to see an expansion of economic and other ties regardless of this or that deal.”
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