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India-Israel Ties Forged by Traditions, History And Friendship: PM Modi

Addressing a gathering of the Indian diaspora at Tel Aviv's Convention Centre, the PM said the two countries were like two close friends meeting after a long time.


Updated:July 6, 2017, 9:19 AM IST
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Tel Aviv: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the relationship between India and Israel was forged by "tradition, history and friendship".

The Prime Minister announced a flight service between Delhi, Mumbai and Tel Aviv to a rousing applause. The audience welcomed PM Modi's decision as he invited everybody to pay a visit soon.

Addressing a gathering of the Indian diaspora at Tel Aviv's Convention Centre, the PM said the two countries were like two close friends meeting after a long time.

In another important announcement, he said that people of the Indian community, who have served compulsory army service in Israel, will get "Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards, adding that the purpose of this facility will not be complete until it was extended to the people living in Israel".

“This is the first time in 70 years that an Indian Prime Minister has come to Israel. It's an occasion to be happy, but it poses a question why it hadn’t happened until now?" he said, starting his address.

Before Indian Prime Minister delivered a lively address, with the audiences intermittently chanting "Modi-Modi", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed him once again to Israel. "It's a partnership made in heaven, but happening right now, here on earth," the Israeli Prime Minister said, to a 6000-strong crowd.

Lauding his government's efforts, PM Modi asserted that the Centre was on course to ensuring "own houses to every citizen of the country by 2022," the year India completes 75 years of independence. "My Government's mantra is reform, perform and transform."

Shining light on a variety of commonalities between the two countries, PM Modi said: "Netanyahu and I have one more thing in common - we were both born in independent countries," adding that even the festivals of the two nations coincide.

"We have Diwali in India, you have Hanukkah in Israel. When we celebrate Holi, you celebrate Karim,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister interacted with the Indian Jewish community directly, saying, "India has a very small Jewish community, but it has made its presence felt in every field. The Jewish community has enriched India with its contributions."

Earlier in the day, the two leaders held extensive talks and signed 7 Memorandum of Understandings in key areas such as space, agriculture and water conservation.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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