In what the Ministry of External Affairs has called a "return visit", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin a six-day, four-city visit to India on Sunday, January 14. Netanyahu explained in Jerusalem on Thursday that the two may meet before March.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also visited the Jewish state in July, becoming the first Indian premier to do so. Modi had also accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping and his spouse to the riverfront during the latter's India visit in 2014.
Netanyahu will arrive in New Delhi on January 14 and depart from Mumbai on January 19.
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". In the first, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, most notably hundreds of thousands of shekels' worth of cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.
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The visit come months after Modi's trip to Israel in July a year ago - a first by an Indian Prime Minister since the two countries established diplomatic ties only in 1992 even as India had recognized the Jewish state soon after it was founded.
"The Prime Minister's visit to India is the grand finale to the celebrations of 25 years of Growing Partnership between India and Israel". In Gujarat, Mr. Netanyahu is likely to visit the Sabarmati Ashram, the abode of Mahatma Gandhi for a long time. The two leaders will also be witnessing several innovative technologies in the field of water, agriculture and health at iCreate and visit a Centre of Excellence.
In Mumbai, Netanyahu will highlight the importance of fighting terrorism.
The Mumbai leg includes Netanyahu's film industry outreach - Shalom Bollywood, an interaction with the Jewish community and a meeting with business heads.