'This visit demonstrates that our relation is out in the open. It is an important step and from now on what we do, we do it publicly. There will be nothing hush-hush any more,' said Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesperson for the Israeli foreign ministry. Photograph: (Reuters)
One of the most important meetings ever, the Israeli foreign ministry says of Modi visit
As Indian PM Narendra Modi touches down in Israel for his historic visit, WION's Kartikeya Sharma speaks with Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of External Affairs, to learn what to expect from this meeting and beyond.
Q: What is the importance of this visit for Israel?
A: It is one of the most important meetings to have ever been held in Israel. Narendra Modi is a great friend of Israel and we are very excited about it. We are celebrating 25 years of our relations and it is great to see jump up in our relationship with India. We are partnering in new technologies and water in which both countries will benefit.
Q: What is the core focus of the visit? Is it only about defence and security?
A: Israel is known for innovation in water treatment and India does have challenges in water and agriculture. We are here to help. We just don’t want to sell. We want to establish a partnership. We want to look at a joint future.
Q. Do you feel that this visit acknowledges the Indo-Israeli relationship publically?
A: This visit demonstrates that our relation is out in the open. It is an important step and from now on what we do, we do it publicly. There will be nothing hush-hush any more.
Q: A grand ceremony is being organised for Narendra Modi?
A: It is the most important visit for us. It will be organised accordingly. We will showcase everything for him. He will have a taste and vision of Israel.
Q: Anything in context of defence sharing?
A: This visit is not about defence sharing. There is more to it. We would like to open up new avenues.
Q: PM Narendra Modi is going to meet Moshe?
A: Yes. Modi is important to us and our PM will accompany him. He is a symbol of challenges which India and Israel feel and he was saved by an Indian. He is an Israeli citizen. He symbolises the dangers we face. We can face them together.
Q: How can India and Israel fight Islamic terrorism?
A: Other nations in the world do not understand that problem is Islamic terrorism but we understand it. India also faces the onslaught of terrorism. We can work together on this.
Netanyahu will meet Modi at the airport and escort him on almost all of his engagements, an unprecedented honour extended to a visiting dignitary (WION)