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PM Modi Hails India-Israel Friendship, 5 Things About Modi's 'Groundbreaking' Visit

In a display of close ties between the two leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu by his nickname Bibi and hailed India-Israel friendship.

News18.com

Updated:July 4, 2017, 9:20 PM IST
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PM Modi Hails India-Israel Friendship, 5 Things About Modi's 'Groundbreaking' Visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tel Aviv, Israel on Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (Photo: CNN-News18)
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Tel Aviv: In a display of close ties between the two leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu by his nickname Bibi and remembered 'Yoni', his elder brother Yonatan Netanyahu, a military officer who commanded the elite commando during Operation Entebbe to rescue hostages held in Uganda on July 4, 1976. The officer was killed during the operation.

In his comments, Modi said he was "honoured" to be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel, though the two nations had set up formal diplomatic relations 25 years ago.

Here are five things PM Modi said after he was welcomed by Netanyahu at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday.


- It is my singular honour to be the first-ever Prime Minister of India to undertake this ground-breaking visit to Israel

- Today is July 4, exactly 41 years since Operation Entebbe. The day when your Prime Minister, and my friend, Bibi, lost his older brother Yoni, while saving the lives of so many Israeli hostages. Your heroes are an inspiration for the younger generations

- Your heroes (members of Sayeret Matkal who took part in Operation Entebbe) are an inspiration for the younger generations

- India is an old civilisation but a young nation as 800 million youth are below 35 years of age. On the path of sustainable and high growth and all-round development, India counts Israel as an important partner

- We are also cooperating to secure our countries against common threats such as terrorism...A strong and resilient partnership with Israel will be my focus
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