India–Israel relations: Netanyahu's 2018 visit to India

India–Israel relations: Netanyahu's 2018 visit to India
Source: Flicker.com

In January, to commemorate 25 years of Indian-Israeli relations, a highly televised visit of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to India took place, during which both Netanyahu and India's Prime Minister Modi have exchanged mutual applauses.

This visit was the first since the 2003 visit of Ariel Sharon to India.

Netanyahu, accompanied by a 130-member delegation, the largest that has ever accompanied a visiting Israeli premier, wants to increase exports to India by 25 per cent over the three years.

Israel is to invest $68.6 million in areas such as tourism, technology, agriculture and innovation over a period of four years, a senior Israeli official had said ahead of the visit.

During this visit, an official commemoration ceremony took place, that honoured the Indian soldiers who perished in the Battle of Haifa during World War I took place, where Teen Murti Chowk, representing the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers, was renamed 'Teen Murti Haifa Chowk', after the Israeli port city of Haifa.

During the official visit by the Israeli Prime Minister, the two countries signed 9 MoUs in the fields of cybersecurity, oil & gas production, air transport, homoeopathic medicine, film production, space technology and innovation, he also met with the heads of the Bollywood Movie Industry.

Netanyahu's Indian visit also included effort to revive Rafael missiles for delhi.

Netanyahu was also the guest of honour, and delivered the inaugural address in India's annual strategic and diplomatic conference, Raisina Dialogue, where he highlighted various aspects of Israel's success story as a high-tech and innovation-based economy, and also spoke about challenges plaguing the Middle East, while expressing hope and optimism for the future of his country's relations with India.

Notable leaders who attended his conference included Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Indian Minister of State M J Akbar and Indian National Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

Netanyahu's son Yair Netanyahu was supposed to accompany the Israeli Premiere on Indian state visit but only a week prior to the visit a scandalous recording about Yair's private visit to a strip club with his friends was disclosed on Israel Television News main broadcast.