(JNS.org) The dates of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel—the first trip of its kind by a holder of his office—have been set for July 5-6 as the two countries mark 25 years of diplomatic relations.
While the details of Modi’s itinerary are still being worked out, reports indicate that his visit will focus on building stronger economic, agricultural and hi-tech ties.
According to the Hindustan Times, “Though Israel is among the top four military hardware suppliers to India, with more than $1 billion in annual sales to New Delhi, the Modi government is keen to ensure that this visit is not focused on defense ties alone, but encompasses longterm economic and technological cooperation, resulting in a free-trade agreement.”
The report added that Modi’s visit will “be an open acknowledgment of India’s close ties with Israel, and also pave the way for transfer of high-end agricultural technologies that will benefit Indian farmers.”
Ahead of Modi’s trip, Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will visit Israel in May. Notably, Modi will not visit the Palestinian territories in July; instead, PA President Mahmoud Abbas will visit India this spring. The Indian government has said it believes the prime minister’s standalone visit to Israel will further “underline the significance of India’s special ties with the Jewish nation.”