(JNS.org) Speaking at a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the “kinship” he feels with Israel amid burgeoning ties between the two countries.
“Israel is a real friend and I have really felt that feeling of kinship. I feel absolutely at home here,” Modi said.
“Your Excellency, you yourself broke protocol and stepped onto the road [at the president’s residence] to receive me, and this is a mark of respect to the entire Indian nation comprising 1.25 billion people,” he told Rivlin, adding, “You have expressed your love and your sentiments for our country. For that, I would especially like to thank you and express my gratitude.”
Rivlin greeted Modi warmly in Jerusalem following a similarly enthusiastic welcome from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when Modi arrived at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday afternoon, kicking off the first-ever visit to Israel by a sitting Indian head of state.
“We have a lot in common, we are doing a lot in common,” Rivlin said. “It’s really a pleasure to have as a guest one of the greatest leaders in the world today. Prime Minister, welcome.”
The rest of Modi’s itinerary Wednesday included another meeting with Netanyahu, the signing of several bilateral agreements with the Israeli government and a meeting with a Jewish child whose parents were killed in a terror attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai in 2008.