Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to make a historic visit to Israel in June this year, according to India’s Ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor. The visit, which will be the first-ever from an Indian Prime Minister to Israel, will mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two powers.
Mark Sofer, Deputy Director of Asia and the Pacific at the Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated: “there is a window of opportunity with India…we must take advantage of it”.
In the past two years, there have been two-high profile visits between Israeli and Indian officials, with the President of India Pranab Mukherjee having visited Israel in 2015, and President Rivlin having visited India in 2016. Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon commented last year that 2017 will be a year of “high level” visits between the two countries.
Last month, Prime Minister Modi met with Israel’s Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel, who visited India to finalise and upgrade agricultural relations between the two states. Both nations have also shown interest in significantly upgrading the number of tourists per annum, and have addressed plans to introduce direct flights between Dehli and Tel Aviv.
Ambassador Kapoor stated that India and Israel are also working together on various projects in the defence sector, with Israel looking to set up manufacturing units in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme.
India recognised the State of Israel in 1950, however full diplomatic relations were not established until 1992. Israel is a major defence and security partner for India, and has historically supported India on the international stage.