On the eve of his unprecedented visit to Israel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he will discuss with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu the common challenges like terrorism and ways to boost the economic ties.
Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, will undertake a three-day trip to the Jewish nation till July 6 before travelling to Hamburg in Germany to attend the G-20 Summit.
In Israel, he will also meet President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and address the CEOs of the two countries as well as the Indian diaspora.
He will also visit the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum to honour the memory of the victims of the holocaust that counts among the greatest tragedies in human history.
Modi will also pay his respects to the courageous Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918.
"Tomorrow, I begin a historic visit to Israel, a very special partner of India's... As the first Indian prime minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer," he said in a statement here.
"I look forward to holding extensive talks with my friend, @IsraeliPM @netanyahu, who shares a commitment for vibrant India-Israel ties," he tweeted.
The prime minister said he will have "in-depth talks" with Netanyahu "on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit. We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism."
This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of their diplomatic relations.
"My programme during the visit gives me an opportunity to engage with a cross-section of Israeli society. I am particularly looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel that represents an enduring link between our two peoples," Modi said.
On the economic side, he said, "I will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and start-ups to discuss our shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground."
In addition, he said, "I hope to get insights into Israel's accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits."
On July 6, the prime minister will travel to Hamburg for the G-20 Summit being hosted by Germany on July 7-8.
The theme chosen for this year is 'Shaping an Inter- connected World'.
"I look forward to engaging leaders from other G-20 countries on the vital issues affecting our world today that have a bearing on economic growth, sustainable development, and peace and stability," he said.
"We will review progress on decisions since the Hangzhou Summit last year and deliberate on issues of terrorism, climate, sustainable development, growth and trade, digitalisation, health, employment, migration, women’s empowerment, and partnership with Africa," Modi added.
As in the past, he said he looked forward to the opportunity to meet leaders on the sidelines of the Summit to exchange views on bilateral matters of mutual interest.