‘Aapka swagat hai mere dost’: Netanyahu welcomes PM Modi on ‘groundbreaking’ Israel visit

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in  Israel on Tuesday to a rousing reception at Tel Aviv airport with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu greeting him with the words “Aapka swagat hai mere dost.”

Attesting to the shared values and friendship between India and Israel, PM Modi said a strong and resilient partnership between the two countries was the focus of his trip, which he called “groundbreaking”.

“It is my singular honour to be the first ever Prime Minister of India to undertake this groundbreaking visit to Israel. This visit celebrates the centuries old links between our societies as well as the establishment of 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel,” PM Modi said at his reception ceremony.

This flawed, hypocritical approach was called out by former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, who in 1992 took the first step by normalising ties with Israel in 1992. But if geostrategic challenges at the end of Cold War prompted Rao to author the first radical change, Modi — who faces an uncertain global order due to a retreating US and the rise of a revanchist China — has responded by growing closer to Israel, a country with which India has strong defence and counterterrorism ties.

There are bound to be repercussions and there has been. Pakistan is growing restive as Modi and Trump speak in unison about Islamabad’s rent-seeking strategy using terrorism as bargaining chip and China is growing aggressive as a closer Indo-US synergy threatens its expansionism.

 

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