Modi calls on Israeli President

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Jerusalem, July 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin here on Wednesday, the second day of his three-day visit to Israel.

“I am very grateful to the President for welcoming me so warmly,” Modi told the media. “He broke protocol and came out to the alighting point to welcome me. This is a mark of respect for the people of India.”

Rivlin hugged Modi warmly when the latter got out from his car ahead of the meeting.

Modi described India-Israel relations as “I for I” and “I with I”.

“By I for I, I mean India for Israel and Israel for India,” Modi said.

He also recalled his visit to Israel in 2006 when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat during the course of which he visited the home of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion whose bedroom had a picture of Mahatma Gandhi.

Modi also said that Rivlin’s phrase “Make with India” is echoed in Israel and has percolated to all levels

Modi had received Rivlin in New Delhi when the latter visited India in November last year.

On Wednesday, Rivlin said he could never forget his visit to India and described it as memorable.

Later on Wednesday, Modi will head delegation-level talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu following which a number of agreements are expected to be signed.

He will address a 4,000-strong gathering of the Indian diaspora in Israel in the evening.

Modi arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday in what is the first ever prime ministerial visit from India to Israel. This year, both countries are marking the 25th anniversary of establishment of full diplomatic ties.

Soon after his arrival on Tuesday afternoon, Modi, accompanied by Netanyahu, visited the Danziger flower farm on the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem where a new variety of chrysanthemum flower was named after the Indian leader.

After reaching Jerusalem, Modi and Netanyahu visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, before the two retired for a private dinner.

–IANS

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