Modi will become first Indian PM to visit Israel
On Tuesday, 4th July 2017, Narendra Modi will become the first Indian prime minister to have visited the state of Israel.
Recently, Mr Modi, had said that India and the Jewish state have shared a “deep and centuries-old” connection. It is expected that Modi will agree to military and cyber security deals.
Observers have noted that Modi will not be travelling to Ramallah or meet Palestinian leaders, as other visiting dignitaries often do.
This visit is being seen by some as a turning point.
Here is what the focus will be on over the next three days:
For years, Israel and India have been working closely together on counter-terrorism and defence issues and India has been a regular customer of arms from the Jewish state.
India has been working to modernise its military in order to counter China and Pakistan. India has now become the largest arms market of Israel, According to a news agency the market is thought to be worth about $1bn (£770,000) per year.
This co-operation has ranged from a jointly built air defense system to the Indians buying drones, radar, cyber security and communication systems.
Besides the defense deals, the two countries have also wanted to expand cooperation in other areas, Israel is notably helping India in order to improve agricultural productivity and food security.
The relationship of India and Israel are 25 years old.
However in the past, the relationship had always been a balancing act given the sizeable Muslim Population of India along with the country’s dependence on oil imports from the Arab countries and Iran.
Modi’s visit to Israel has been described historic by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he had said that it would “deepen co-operation in a wide range of fields – security, agriculture, water, energy – basically in almost every field Israel is involved in.”
During the visit Mr Modi will also meet an Israeli boy, Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents had been killed when gunmen had stormed a Jewish centre in Mumbai during a 2008 terror attack.
Six Jewish people were killed at the centre, which was one of several places targeted in the November 2008 attacks.
Modi is being given the high-level red carpet treatment by Israel.
During the trip Mr Netanyahu will go beyond the usual protocol of meeting visiting leaders on a few occasions during their trip. In President Modi’s case, Natanyahu will accompany him for most of the visit, an honor which is usually reserved for only the top level guests like the US president.
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