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Israel welcomes PM Modi's proposed visit

PTI June 01, 2015 22:49 IST

New Delhi: An elated Israel on Monday warmly welcomed the announcement of Narendra Modi's visit to the Jewish nation, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister, saying it would lead to "tightening" of the bilateral ties.

A day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced Modi's plans to visit that country, Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon told PTI that high level visits "are a natural ingredient of the tightening relationship" between Israel and India.

The envoy gave no indication of when the visit will take place and said that mutually agreed dates will be finalised through diplomatic channels. Modi's visit will be preceded by Swaraj's trip in next few months.

"High level visits between both countries, as we have witnessed in the past months, are a natural ingredient of the tightening relationship between Israel and India.

"In this context, Israel welcomes any visits by PM Narendra Modi and FM Sushma Swaraj at mutually agreed dates that will be formulated through diplomatic channels. I'm confident that such visits will further expand the relation and take them to new heights," Carmon said.

In reply to a question, Swaraj had yesterday said, "As far as my visit is concerned, it will take place this year. I will visit, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. As far as Prime Minister's visit is concerned, he will travel to Israel.
No dates have been finalised. It will take place as per mutually convenient dates."

India had established "full" diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1992 though it had recognised the country in 1950. No Indian Prime Minister or President has ever visited that country.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had become the first premier of that country to visit India when he came here in 2003. He is credited with transforming bilateral relations from diminutive defence and trade cooperation to the strategic ties.