PM Modi receives Israeli PM Netanyahu in Delhi

PM Modi receives Israeli PM Netanyahu in Delhi

New Delhi, Jan 14 Setting aside protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today received his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrived here on a six-day visit. Bhaskar said the ties between the two countries have been expanding in the areas of agriculture, water, innovation, entrepreneurship development, space, education, culture, homeland security and defence.

Also, India last month voted in favour of a United Nations resolution denouncing President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Our policy is not influenced by any third country. our policy is independent", he said when asked about India's position on the sensitive issue.

Netanyahu will also visit Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Agra.

"This is a very very special relationship".

Modi had visited the Jewish state in July past year, becoming the first Indian premier to do so. Bhaskar parried a direct reply when asked about the reported revival of talks on India's purchase of 8,000 Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel that was cancelled last week.

In November, the defence ministry had chose to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

Netanyahu's visit to India is only the second one by an Israeli prime minister and comes after a gap of 15 years.

"We are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power".

He will deliver a speech at the Raisina Dialogue on January 16. He will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind on the same day. Modi and he will also visit the Center of Excellence in Vadrad and inaugurate a Center of Excellence for date palms in Bhuj via video conference.

Modi would be accompanying Netanyahu to Gujarat on Wednesday where he will be welcomed in the same fashion as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was with a road show in Ahmedabad.

In his conversation with Macron, the Israeli premier said that "Trump's remarks should be taken seriously, and whoever wants to keep the nuclear deal would be wise to fix it", a statement from Netanyahu's office read.

It said he will reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.

"Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit", Netanyahu said just before leaving for New Delhi.