PM Modi's Visit Shows India 'Not Bashful' About Israel Anymore, Says Envoy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel this evening for his three-day trip.

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PM Modi's Visit Shows India 'Not Bashful' About Israel Anymore, Says Envoy

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Indian Ambassador Pavan Kapoor spoke to NDTV ahead of PM Narendra Modi's visit to Israel.

Tel Aviv:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Israel this morning, the first ever visit by an Indian premier. India's envoy to Tel Aviv, Pavan Kapoor told NDTV on Monday that India was now ending its "bashfulness" over ties with Israel and coming out.

"We've been a bit bashful in the past about our relationship with Israel, and we've gotten over that and the degree of visibility that we've been showing for some time has been much higher and now coming with the PM visit, the formal coming out of the relationship," he said.

Significantly, the Prime Minister will not be visiting Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian authority. In the past, President Pranab Mukherjee went there, when he visited Israel in 2015, as did three foreign ministers. However, this is a clear break from the past. 
 
pm narendra modi benjamin netanyahu

PM Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu will hold bilateral talks.

Ambassador Kapoor told NDTV, "This visit is to Israel and that's a clear point. We've explained to our Palestinian friends that this is a visit to Israel, and they're comfortable enough with that. We've reached a stage of maturity where we feel we can deal with both our friends in Palestine and Israel but keep the relationship independent of each other."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive on Tuesday afternoon for his three-day trip which will include deals on water management, science and technology, education, agriculture and more. PM Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu will also have extensive discussions on defence and security.

"Tomorrow, I begin a historic visit to Israel, a very special partner of India's," PM Modi tweetd on Monday.

Talks between PM Modi and Mr Netanyahu will include those to advance sales and production of missiles, drones and radar systems under the "Make in India" drive, officials in Delhi and Tel Aviv said. 

Agriculture, food security, water and space technology will also be on the agenda, officials have said.

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