Modi welcomes Israeli PM at start of India trip

Modi welcomes Israeli PM at start of India trip

It is noteworthy that the visit is the first by an Israeli PM to the country after 15 years.

The Prime Minister's Office said that Netanyahu had been expecting to be met by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and was surprised to see Modi waiting for him on the ground at Air Force State New Delhi.

The PM Netanyahu will hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow where the two leaders are expected to discuss entire gamut of bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the Jewish state in July past year, becoming the first Indian premier to do so.

Netanyahu arrived in the country with the largest business delegation ever to accompany an Israeli premier on an overseas tour.

Soon after his arrival on Sunday, Netanyahu and Modi attended a ceremony at the Teen Murti Memorial to rename it Teen Murti Haifa Chowk. Netanyahu said before his departure that he will sign several agreements with his Indian counterpart over the course of the trip.

The build up to Netanyahu's visit was soured this month when India called off a deal to buy 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel's state-owned defence contractor Rafael. "We are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power", Netanyahu tweeted before his departure for New Delhi.

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Israel and India have developed close ties in high-tech and defense cooperation.

Responding in Hebrew on his own Twitter account, Netanyahu expressed appreciation for Modi's personal welcome.

On Monday, Netanyahu will be given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan which will be followed by the wreath laying at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

Apart from New Delhi, Netanyahu will visit Agra, Ahmedabad and Mumbai during his first visit to India.

Netanyahu will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind. The two leaders will witnessing several innovative technologies in the field of water, agriculture and health at iCreate and visit a Centre of Excellence.

Modi's meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem in July previous year saw India and Israel upgrading bilateral relations to a strategic partnership with special focus on agriculture and water.

Carmon said 11-year Moshe Holtzberg will also accompany Netanyahu and participate in a function at the Chabad House in Mumbai.

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