Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said that he will be visiting India in the first week of April to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The maiden visit of Bennett, who became prime minister in June last year, also aims to expand the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of innovation and technology, security and cyber, and agriculture and climate change.
Bennett said, "I am delighted to pay my first official visit to India at the invitation of my friend Prime Minister Modi and together we will continue leading the way for our countries’ relations. Modi restarted relations between India and Israel and this is of historic importance. The relations between our two unique cultures — the Indian culture and the Jewish culture — are deep, and they rely on deep appreciation and meaningful collaborations."
"There are many things we can learn from the Indians, and this is what we strive to do," Bennett added, pledging to expand cooperation "to other areas, from innovation and technology, security and cyber, to agriculture and climate change”.
Informed sources told PTI that it will be a four-day visit from April 2-April 5.
In a statement, the Israeli PM's Foreign Media Adviser said that Prime Minister Bennett will pay his first official visit to India on Saturday, 2 April 2022, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The two leaders had first met on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November last year during which they reviewed the bilateral ties besides exchanging views about expanding cooperation in areas of high-technology and innovation.
"This visit will reaffirm the important connection between the countries and the leaders, and will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Israel and India," the statement said.
"The purpose of the visit is to advance and strengthen the strategic alliance between the countries, and to expand bilateral ties. In addition, the leaders will discuss the strengthening of cooperation in a variety of areas, including innovation, economy, research and development, agriculture and more," it added.
Bennett will be meeting his Indian counterpart, senior government officials and also the local Jewish community during his visit.
India and Israel elevated their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel in July 2017.
Since then, the relationship between the two countries has focused on expanding knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including boosting the 'Make in India' initiative.
Prime Minister Bennett has earlier described the "deep relationship" between India and Israel as one coming from the heart and not being about interests and urged Prime Minister Modi to work together to take the bilateral ties to "a whole new level".
Though India recognised Israel in 1950, full diplomatic relations were established in 1992.