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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in India for six-day visit

14 January 2018

Modi and Netanyahu formally renamed the Teenmurti Chowk as Teenmurti-Haifa Chowk, commemorating the centenary of the historic Battle of Haifa.

Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will hold talks on Monday covering entire expanse of ties and explore new areas of cooperation to further deepen the "very very special relationship", the external affairs ministry had said on January 11, 2018. The last such trip was by Ariel Sharon, who came to India in 2003.

Responding in Hebrew on his own Twitter account, Netanyahu expressed appreciation for Modi's personal welcome.

Netanyahu will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind.

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His itinerary includes visits to Gujarat and Mumbai.

In contrast with prime ministerial visits to the U.S. or Europe, Netanyahu's trip, which will take him to three cities in India, will focus very little on Middle Eastern affairs such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday called for the "necessary respect" of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the French leader to change the landmark accord.

On Tuesday, the minister will leave for Agra and visit Taj Mahal in the city. Both the leaders are likely to visit Sabarmati Ashram, abode of Mahatma Gandhi. They will also visit the iCreate innovation campus and center. The minister will later visit Centre of Excellence, Vadrad.

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The Israeli prime minister will have a number of engagements in Mumbai on 18 January.

On Thursday he will meet with Indian business leaders at a "power breakfast" and attend two memorial services for the victims of the 26/11 attack at the Taj hotel and Nariman House, also known as Chabad House, a place of worship for Jews in Mumbai. He will also reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.

Modi's meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem in July previous year saw India and Israel upgrading bilateral relations to a strategic partnership with special focus on agriculture and water.

Israel is a major weapons supplier to India, exporting an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year, but Modi wants to end India's status as the world's top defence importer. Netanyahu had described the invitation as "a deeply moving moment for me, both in personal, but also in national and global terms". During the trip, several bilateral agreements will be signed. Some of them include establishment of a United States dollars 40 million joint fund to encourage Israeli and Indian business cooperation, agreements permitting and extending incentives to Bollywood filmmakers looking to shoot in Israel, efforts to promote growth in tourism, and a joint government project in the fields of water and agriculture.

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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in India for six-day visit