"Namaste": Benjamin Netanyahu Greets PM Modi, India On Independence Day

Earlier this month, the Israeli embassy in India greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of International Friendship Day; the message was accompanied by a fragment of lyric from a song from the 1975 Bollywood hit movie "Sholay"

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'Namaste': Benjamin Netanyahu Greets PM Modi, India On Independence Day

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to make a day-long visit to India in September


New Delhi: 

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the nation on the occasion of India's 73rd Independence Day, describing the relationship between the two countries as one of "genuine friendship".

"To my friend Prime Minister Modi and the people of India... Namaste! Happy Independence Day! The relations between India and Israel are like never before. It's not merely cooperation in so many fields, it is genuine friendship. Happy Independence Day," Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video message

The Israel Prime Minister's message featured clips of the two leaders greeting and embracing each other at different events over the past years.

The post also carried a line in Hindi that said: "Israel wishes all Indians a happy Independence Day".

Earlier this month, the Israeli embassy in India posted a message on Twitter on the occasion of International Friendship Day.

The message was accompanied by a fragment of lyric from a popular song from the 1975 Bollywood hit movie "Sholay", starring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Hema Malini.

"Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge (We will not break this friendship)," the message said

PM Netanyahu, who is the longest serving Israeli Prime Minister, is to visit India in September, only eight days before unprecedented repeat polls in his country. In May, the Israeli parliament voted to hold a repeat election after the Prime Minister failed to form a coalition government.

Last month Prime Minister Modi made a surprise cameo in his Israeli counterpart's re-election campaign. A large election advertisement banner, featuring PM Modi shaking hands with PM Netanyahu, was draped outside a building in Tel Aviv.

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PM Modi appeared in one of PM Netanyahu's re-election campaign posters

Critics of PM Netanyahu have argued the all-too-brief meeting is an effort to build up his campaign ahead of the repeat election, by positioning him on the same level as some of the world's top leaders.

The Israeli Prime Minister's campaign has been hit by corruption charges brought against him by state prosecution, and falling support for his ruling Likud party.

The Israeli leader was among the first world leaders to congratulate PM Modi for his BJP's "impressive victory" in national polls in April-May. The two are seen by many as sharing a close personal relationship.

PM Modi's 2017 visit, which marked 25 years of diplomatic relations between the countries, led to 12 Strategic Business MoUs worth over $4.3 billion being signed.



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