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HomePoliticsIndiaModi most popular in Israel, Bennett says, inviting Indian PM to join...

Modi most popular in Israel, Bennett says, inviting Indian PM to join Yamina

Hearing the praise, PM Narendra Modi burst into a guffaw; Naftali Bennett, who became Israeli PM in June, is likely to visit India in 2022

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join his party (Yamina) as he is the “most popular man in Israel”. The two executive heads of their respective countries interacted during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the COP26 climate in Glasgow, Scotland.

A video of the interaction between Modi and Bennett showed the Israeli prime minister telling his Indian counterpart, “You are the most popular man in Israel. Come and join my party.” the praise, Prime Minister Modi burst into peals of laughter.

The talk was the first formal meeting between the two leaders since Bennett assumed office in June this year following the defeat of his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu.

During the meeting, the two real heads of state — the presidents of India and are the nominal heads of the respective countries — reviewed the bilateral ties besides exchanging views about expanding cooperation in areas of high technology and innovation. The formal meeting followed their brief interaction on Monday during the climate conference.

Earlier, recalling their brief meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Modi said that the people of India deeply valued their friendship with Israel. “Enhancing friendship with Israel. Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Naftali Bennett had a fruitful meeting in Glasgow. Both leaders discussed deepening various avenues of cooperation for the benefit of our citizens,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

“Furthering ties with our Strategic Partner. PM Narendra Modi met PM of Naftali Bennett in Glasgow today,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a tweet. “In their first such engagement, the two leaders reviewed our bilateral ties and discussed expanding cooperation in areas of high-technology and innovation,” it said.

Later in a brief statement, the MEA said that the two leaders had reviewed bilateral strategic partnerships and expressed satisfaction over the progress made in diverse sectors. “They agreed on further expanding cooperation, especially in the areas of high-technology and innovation,” it said.

Recalling that next year would mark 30 years of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel, Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Bennett to visit India. Prime Minister Bennett described the “deep relationship” between India and as one coming from the heart and not being about interests and urged Modi to work together to take the bilateral ties to “a whole new level”.

“I want to thank you. You’re the person who restarted the relationship between India and Israel, which is a deep relationship between two unique civilisations: the Indian civilisation, the Jewish civilisation and I know it comes from your heart. It’s not about interests; it’s about a deep conviction that you harbour and we feel it,” Bennett told Modi at the start of the meeting.

“On behalf of all Israeli citizens, we deeply appreciate this whole new approach that will go down in history as something that you brought about. So thank you,” the Israeli premier said as per communication from his media adviser.

Bennett also cited the “remarkable dynamics” between Indian and Israeli innovators during his days as an entrepreneur which he said helped shape his feelings. “Indeed, my personal experience, to a great degree, shaped my feelings. As you recall, when I ran a hi-tech company, we merged with an Indian company, the two ‘I’s, India and in Manhattan. In the office, there were a bunch of Israelis and Indians, and getting together created a remarkable dynamic of innovation. There’s so much that we can learn from you,” he noted.

Urging to carry forward the deepened cooperation between the two countries that started during his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister vowed to bring the ties together to a new level. “This is indeed what we seek to do. Our goal is to continue the wonderful path that you placed with my predecessor and bring it to a whole new level, so we can ensure that our two nations work together on innovation, technology, space, security, agriculture, food technologies, and of course climate-related technologies,” Bennett stressed.

The prime minister of also extended greetings to Modi and Indians.

Prime Minister Modi, who was accompanied by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, interacted with Bennett yesterday in a cordial brief meeting. In a video tweeted by Modi, the two leaders were seen exchanging pleasantries during their animated discussion.

“Indeed! We shall continue working together for stronger bilateral ties and for a better planet,” Modi said in a tweet on Tuesday. “The people of India deeply value the friendship with Israel,” he tweeted.

Prime Minister Bennett, in a tweet, said, “it was truly great to finally meet you, Narendra Modi.” The meeting between Modi and Bennett follows Jaishankar extending an invitation to the Israeli premier on behalf of Modi to visit India during the foreign minister’s visit to last month. Bennett, who became prime minister in June this year, is likely to visit India next year, Israeli media says.

India and elevated their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel in July 2017. Since then, the relationship between the two countries has focused on expanding knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including boosting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Prime Minister Modi also met Suriname President and “friend” Chan Santokhi on the sidelines of the climate summit. “Delighted to get the opportunity to meet my friend, President Chan Santokhi of Suriname, a nation with which India has deep-rooted cultural linkages,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.


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ABVP stands with our brethren in Nagaland. We express deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for speedy recovery of injured in the unfortunate incident at Oting in Mon district of Nagaland on Saturday. We are with the Konyak tribe in their demand for justice.

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PM Narendra Modi holds meeting with top ministers in Parliament to discuss various issues including the Nagaland firing incident and the government's strategy in both Houses

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