With a Warm Embrace, India-Israel Relations Emerge Out of Shadow
The two leaders shook hands, and then Modi embraced his Israel counterpart with his already famous bear-hug.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at Tel Aviv Airport. (CNN-News18)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi disembarked Air India One and took a reassuring step towards his Israeli counterpart at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. Benjamin Netanyahu had set aside all protocol to receive the visiting head of the government, the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister.
In that brief moment, India shed decades of denial and inhibition in having covert ties with the state of Israel.
Modi in an off-white bandhgala, carefully choosing to wear a satin pocket-square to match the dark sky blue star of David on the Israeli flag - the sartorial symbolism in diplomacy.
The two leaders shook hands, and then Modi embraced his Israel counterpart with his already famous bear-hug. In the process, the two countries took a big stride forward, coming a long way since establishing diplomatic ties twenty-five years ago
That’s forty years after India refused to send its Davis Cup team to Israel, a beaming Bibi Netanyahu greeting Prime Minister in Hnidi: “Aapka swagat hai mere dost. (Welcome, my friend)"
"Make in India, make with Israel"; continued the Israeli PM.
Prime Minister Modi returned the compliments, calling it a groundbreaking visit. “My visit is about the strength of our societies and our strong partnership. Your heroes are an inspiration for our younger generation.” Modi continued.
The two leaders followed up the inaugural speech with introduction of their respective delegation. Bibi Netanyahu, reserving an extended and warm hand-shake for NSA Ajit Doval who has played a key role doing the groundwork for the historic visit.
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