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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in India

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on Sunday afternoon for a four-day state visit. He is the second Israeli prime minister to visit India in the last 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The first was Ariel Sharon, who was hosted by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in September 2003. During his stay, Netanyahu is also expected to visit Gujarat and Mumbai.

Netanyahu’s visit comes six months after PM Narendra Modi became the first-ever Indian PM to visit Israel. Netanyahu had received PM Modi at the airport then. On Sunday, PM Modi returned the gesture by receiving Netanyahu today.

The economic relationship is also going to figure in the talks, as the two sides are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement. While they are expected to hold the next round of talks in February, the two leaders are expected to take stock of the progress in the negotiations.

There is cooperation on security issues between the two countries, including a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. In February 2014, India and Israel signed three important agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Cooperation in Homeland Security, and Protection of Classified Material.


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