Jul 12 2017
First-ever visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister confirms the strong economic and technological ties with the Jewish state
Both leaders expressed support for peace in the region but neither suggested a Two-State solution. In fact, a meeting with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah was notably absent from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda, with the Indian government saying it believes the prime minister’s standalone visit to Israel serves to further “underline the significance of India’s special ties with the Jewish nation.”
i24News Modi responded that it was his “singular honor to be the first ever prime minister of India to undertake this groundbreaking visit to Israel.” Modi thanked Netanyahu “for the invitation and for receiving me with so much warmth.”
“My visit celebrates the strength of centuries-old links between our societies,” Modi said. “The people of Israel have built a nation on democratic principles. They have nurtured it with hard work and the spirit of innovation. India applauds your achievements.”
The two then went from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to pay tribute at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Memorial, where Modi signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book and took part in a memorial ceremony.
During the visit, the two leaders made an impromptu visit to the grave of the man considered the founding father of Zionism – Theodor Herzl – which lies adjacent to Yad Vashem, where Modi placed a small rock on the marble tomb.
United with Israel They also published a document with 22 clauses marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their countries and summarizing Modi’s historic first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel.
Modi presented PM Netanyahu replicas of 2 sets of relics from Kerala that, regarded as key artifacts in the long Jewish history in India.
The document states that the visit “solidified the enduring friendship between their peoples and raised the bilateral relationship to that of a strategic partnership.” The document pertains to various facets of the relations and growing cooperation between the two nations. Clause 20 relates to the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians.
While the two prime ministers acknowledged “the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region” and “reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements,” they did not state a specific solution nor did they endorse any final plan or mention the two state solution.
Modi paid homage to the Jewish victims at the Holocaust Memorial in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.
India has recognized the non-existent “state of Palestine,” but Modi appears to be steering away from the Palestinians and towards Israel (very smart move). With both countries threatened by Islamic terrorism, the statement elaborated on the war on terrorism.
Clause 14 state that “recognizing that Islamic terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to combat it in all its forms and manifestations.” Such a statement could serve a severe blow to the Palestinian Authority, which extensively supports such terrorism.