Modi to become first Indian Prime Minister to visit Isreal


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi becomes the first prime minister to visit Israel as he he arrives in Isreal this Tuesday, which is the result of mounting relations that have led to billions of dollars in defence deals.

Israel, which has always been in constant search of allies to vote in its favour at UN bodies as well as business partners, has been rendering the visit as historic.

Israeli political analysts have also said that Modi will apparently not travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leaders during his three-day stay, as is common for many foreign public figures.

Modi did, however, meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas during his visit to New Delhi in May.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the visit, which marks 25 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations, a “further expression of the state of Israel’s military, economic and diplomatic strength.”

“This is a very significant step in strengthening relations between the two countries,” the Israeli leader said.

“India is a huge country with over 1.25bn people and is one of the world’s largest, growing economies.

Ties between Israel and India are on a constant upturn.” But while Israel, with a population of some eight million, has held the visit up as a diplomatic victory, both countries have practical reasons for the trip.

India is the world’s biggest importer of defence apparatus, and Israel has become one of its major suppliers. Israeli media have reported that the two countries see more than $1bn in defence deals each year.

India has been investing tens of billions in updating its Soviet-era military hardware to counter long-standing tensions with regional rivals China and Pakistan.

It has signed several big-ticket defence deals since Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party stormed to power in 2014.

In April, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries said India would buy nearly $2bn worth of weapons technology, making it the military exporting giant’s biggest defence contract ever.

The deal will see IAI provide India with an advanced defence system of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology It later announced a deal worth $630m to provide India’s navy with missile defence systems.

The two countries have also cooperated on issues such as water and agriculture technology.