Hours before his departure for an unprecedented visit to Israel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he will discuss with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu common challenges like terrorism and ways to boost economic ties. Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel, will undertake a three-day trip to the Jewish nation till July 6 before travelling to Hamburg in Germany to attend the G-20 Summit. Modi is visiting Israel on the invitation of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Modi 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.
The Prime Minister said he will have "in-depth talks" with Netanyahu "on the "full spectrum of our partnership."
"I will have in-depth talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit. We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism," Modi said.
In Israel, he will also meet President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and address the CEOs of the two countries as well as the Indian diaspora.
He will also visit the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum to honour the memory of the victims of the holocaust that counts among the greatest tragedies in human history.
Modi will also pay his respects to the courageous Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918.
"My programme during the visit gives me an opportunity to engage with a cross-section of Israeli society. I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two peoples," Modi said.
On the economic side, he said, "I will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and start-ups to discuss our shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground."
In addition, he said, "I hope to get insights into Israel's accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits."
On July 6, the prime minister will travel to Hamburg for the G-20 Summit being hosted by Germany on July 7-8.
The theme chosen for this year is 'Shaping an Inter- connected World'.
"I look forward to engaging leaders from other G-20 countries on the vital issues affecting our world today that have a bearing on economic growth, sustainable development, and peace and stability," he said.
"We will review progress on decisions since the Hangzhou Summit last year and deliberate on issues of terrorism, climate, sustainable development, growth and trade, digitalisation, health, employment, migration, women's empowerment, and partnership with Africa," Modi added.
As in the past, he said he looked forward to the opportunity to meet leaders on the sidelines of the Summit to exchange views on bilateral matters of mutual interest.
On his arrival, Modi is set for a red-carpet welcome with PM Netanyahu to welcome him at the airport personally. Israel reserves this privilege only for US presidents and the Pope. Besides, Netanyahu is also expected to accompany the Indian PM through most of his visit.