"You Make Alliance With Strong" Says Benjamin Netanyahu On Ties With India: 10 Points

Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the Raisina Dialogue, the annual flagship geo-politics conference in Delhi on Tuesday.

'You Make Alliance With Strong' Says Benjamin Netanyahu On Ties With India: 10 Points

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the delegates at the Raisina Dialogue.

New Delhi: After a hectic visit to Agra and talks with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed back to Delhi on Tuesday to inaugurate Raisina Dialogue, the annual flagship geo-politics conference, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj. "The alliance of democracies is important to secure our common future, I believe possibilities are endless," Mr Netanyahu said, adding what he called the "lessons of Jewish history". "I like soft power, but hard power is usually better. You need F-35s (fighter jets), cyber (security), lot of intelligence... Where does the power for hard power come from? It comes from economic power," said the Israeli leader, who is on a six-day visit to India.

Here are the Top 10 updates in this big story:

  1. Directing his remarks at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Benjamin Netanyahu - the second Israeli leader to visit India since Ariel Sharon in 2003 - said, "You were the first leader to come to Israel in 3,000 years. We believe in India as much as you believe in Israel". The two nations, the 68-year-old leader added, discussed "how we can strengthen our two nations in civilian, security and in every area".

  2. On Tuesday morning, Mr Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu visited Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The 17th-century Mughal monument was closed to tourists for two hours during the visit.

  3. Mr Netanyahu was received at Kheria Airport by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and was given a traditional welcome by Braj folk artistes. The two leaders had lunch at the Oberoi Amarvilas before leaving for the monument in golf carts.

  4. After the meeting, Yogi Adityanath said they had wide-ranging discussions that included technology, agriculture, water conservation and solid waste management.

  5. Today, Mr Netanyahu, accompanied by PM Modi, will visit Gujarat, where they are expected to hold a roadshow on way to Mahatma Gandhi's ashram in Sabarmati. Later, they will inaugurate the iCreate Center at Deo Dholera Village in Ahmedabad and visit a Startup Exhibition.

  6. On Thursday, Mr Netanyahu will visit Mumbai, where he will have breakfast with business executives. He will then open a memorial for 26/11 terror attack victims at Chabad House. Eleven-year-old Moshe Holtzman, who lost his parents, Rabbi Gavriel  Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg, in the attack, is already in Mumbai to attend the event.  

  7. Later, Mr Netanyahu will meet actors and directors from the city's thriving film industry. Bollywood films are hugely popular in Israel. The two nations have signed a deal on co-production of films.  

  8. India and Israel signed nine agreements on Monday, including ones on cooperation in the oil and gas sector and co-production of films. PM Modi and PM Netanyahu also held bilateral meetings that covered a number of issues of mutual interest.

  9. The two nations have also decided to work on a free trade pact that Israel has been pushing for, reported news agency Reuters.

  10. Mr Netanyahu's visit is seen as an effort to build on the decision to elevate ties between the two nations to a "strategic partnership", decided during PM Modi's visit to Israel last year. Israel needs large markets for its export-driven economy and has been working towards deepening ties with India and China.