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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Mumbai on his trip to India

Taking relations between India and Israel a step further, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be coming to India for the first time on January 14 and will also visit Mumbai during his four-day tour. Two programmes are likely to take place, at the Chabad House at Colaba and at Hotel Taj in South Mumbai, where all the dignitaries will be present. Moshe (or ‘Baby Moshe’ as the then two-year-old toddler was known), whose parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka who ran the Chabad House in Colaba were killed during the 26/11 attacks, is also likely to come to India.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July this year, a new equation between the two countries began. Modi had then invited Netanyahu to India. There are various initiatives between the two countries regarding security, defence, trade, culture and tourism.

Confirming the visit, a senior government official said that Netyanyahu would be the first international guest in India in the New Year. “He would be visiting Ahmedabad, Delhi, Agra and Mumbai. He is likely to start his visit from Ahmedabad on January 14. There are many programmes lined up for the Prime Minister which would be revealed at the appropriate time,” the official who did not wish to be named told The Asian Age.

The sources in the government said that Mr Netanyahu would come to Mumbai on the last day of his visit. There are two-three programmes being chalked out for him. One of them would be at Chabad House or the Nariman House which was attacked by terrorists in 2008. In another programme at Hotel Taj, the dignitaries from various sections of the society would be meeting him.

When asked about Baby Moshe’s visit, the official refused to comment. Modi during his visit to Israel had met Baby Moshe and invited him to visit India.

Modi’s Israel visit was considered significant at the international level, as both the sides strengthened bilateral ties in several issues. Netanyahu would be the second Israeli Prime Minister to visit India, as former prime minister Ariel Sharon had visited the country in 2003.

Mr Netanyahu will visit the country on January 14. He is likely to attend programmes at Chabad House and Hotel Taj.

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