(JNS.org) India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, will become the first holder of his office to visit Israel later this year.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj revealed the plans, saying no date for Modi’s trip has been set yet and that the visit would take place “as per mutually convenient dates.”
While the official state visit will be the first of its kind for a sitting Indian leader, Modi already visited Israel in 2007 as part of a high-tech agricultural conference when he was leader of the Indian state of Gujarat from 2001-2014.
Since taking office last year, Modi has led a shift towards greater Indian ties with Israel. In February, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited India, where the two countries finalized a major defense deal worth more than $1.5 billion.
Modi also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Reports have indicated that Modi is considering a shift in his country’s pro-Palestinian stance at the U.N.