Narendra Modi has become the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. He arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday as part of a three-day visit to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Ahead of his departure, Modi, on social media, said he was looking forward to holding extensive talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he called “my friend … who shares a commitment for vibrant India-Israel ties.”
He added: “From boosting economic ties to furthering people-to-people interactions, my Israel visit has a wide range of programs”.
The landmark visit includes meetings with industry leaders and members of the Indian community as well as Moshe Holtzberg, a boy whose parents were killed in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Israel has in recent years become an important defense supplier for India. The two countries signed an air and missile defense deal worth almost $2 billion in April, in what Israel termed the “largest defense contract deal” in its history.
Arun K. Singh, India’s former ambassador to Israel, told CNN that “there has been a focus on defense and counter-terrorism and it is important. This kind of cooperation enhances the confidence that countries have with each other”