PM Modi was given a red carpet welcome at the Tel Aviv airport in Israel when he arrived on Tuesday evening. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received him with a hug.
This is the first ever trip by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish state.
‘Apka swagat hai mere dost (welcome, my friend),’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Modi in Hindi with folded hands when he arrived.
Describing Modi as “a great leader of India and a great world leader”, Netanyahu said, “we have been waiting for the last 70 years” for a visit by an Indian prime minister.
Modi in turn called his visit a “path-breaking” one.
Modi is expected to hold talks with Netanyahu on Wednesday. The two leaders are expected to further strengthen bilateral ties between India and Israel.
“Building a strong and resilient relationship with Israel will be my intent and focus,” Modi said after he landed.
Modi called Netanyahu a ‘friend’ and said that, ‘building a progressive partnership’ in all the areas will shape his conversation with Netanyahu.
Modi is set to have wide-ranging talks with the Israeli leadership, which will also include ‘common threats like terrorism’.
During the three-day trip Modi will also meet President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and address the CEOs of the two countries. Modi is also scheduled to address the Indian diaspora.
He will also visit the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum to honour the memory of the victims of the holocaust.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Prime Minister said, “I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer.”
This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of diplomatic relations.
After his three-day visit, PM Modi will head to Hamburg in Germany to attend the G-20 Summit.
(With inputs from PTI)