Modi set to become first Indian PM to visit Israel with his trip this week
Indian PM Narendra Modi will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, seen here chairing a weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem June 11, 2017. Photograph: (Reuters)
No Indian Prime Minister has ever visited Israel, but that is about to change when Narendra Modi touches down in Israel July 4.
For two days Modi will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss "all matters of mutual interest", according to a press release from India's Minister of External Affairs released on June 28.
The itinerary also includes meetings with members of Israel's Indian community in Tel Aviv, and a stop in a Haifa cemetry to honour Indian soldiers interred on the grounds.
Military, business ties
This april, Israel signed a deal to supply Israel with air and missile defense system worth $2 billion, in what Israel called the "largest defense contract deal" in its history, CNN reports.
"As India seeks to modernize and grow its defense capabilities, it could find an able ally in Israel. The two countries see themselves as bulwarks of democracy in a region rife with illiberal leaders," said the CNN New Delhi Bureau Chief, Ravi Agrawal.
Under Modi's "Make in India" program, the PM is looking for foreign companies to set up factories in India, and this trip will likely be a chance for Modi to encourage Israeli businesses to do the same, CNN adds.
Watch WION discuss India-Israel trade relations with the head of Israel's Chamber of Commerce, in this TV interview conducted in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Head of India-Israel Chamber of Commerce speaks to WION (WION)
In advance of this week's meeting, Israelis welcomed the Indian Prime Minister in Hindi.