Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is all set to arrive in India on Tuesday for a three-day visit during which he will be holding a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Eli Cohen will also attend the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) India-Israel Business Forum. In a statement CII said that the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute is organizing a special interaction with Eli Cohen scheduled to be held on May 9 in New Delhi.
Following his meeting with Jaishankar and after attending the CII India-Israel Business Forum, Cohen will depart for Agra in the evening to attend a programme scheduled to be held on May 10, according to a media advisory released by the Ministry of External Affairs. After his time in Agra, he will return to Delhi on May 10. He will travel to Mumbai on May 11 where he is scheduled to attend a programme. He will return to Israel on May 11, according to a media advisory.
The visit comes after Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat travelled to India in April this year with a large business delegation on a four-day official visit to strengthen bilateral ties in common areas of interest, automotive technologies, and fintech. In late March, Israeli Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana and the parliamentary delegation also paid an official visit to India.
Earlier this month, Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon hailed the ties that the two countries share and said that he is looking forward to hosting the Foreign Minister soon.
"These days we are fortunate to have a series of high-level visits from Israel to India. In late March, we had the visit of the Israel speaker of the parliament Knesset, In mid -April, we had the first-ever visit of the Minister of Economy and we are expecting to host soon the Minister of Foreign Affairs and later in the year, hopefully also our Prime Minister," said the envoy.
"What is common in these visits is that they return impressed by the strong sympathy and friendship between India and Israel, as well as the understanding of the growing importance of India to Israel and to the world," he added.
Speaking about the India - Israel ties, the envoy said further that the cooperation between the two countries is built on deep trust which is evident by the cooperation in the most sensitive fields.
"I've never experienced before such deep appreciation, affection and friendship towards Israel as I do wherever I go in India. A similar sentiment towards India exists in the hearts of many Israelis. The cooperation between India and Israel is based on deep trust. This is evident by the wide fields of cooperation including in the most sensitive ones", said the Israeli Envoy.
Naor Gilon was quoted by ANI as saying that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit India by the end of this year. During his visit in April, Nir Barkat said that he is inspired by the opportunity of collaborating between the economies of Israel and India. Responding to a question from ANI on his India visit, Barkat said, "I'm inspired by the opportunity of collaborating between Israeli economy and the Indian economy. But prior to that, I want to mention the friendship between the people."
He further said, "Israelis love Indians and thank God, Indians love Israelis. We have good history for 2,000 years, while Jews had challenges all over the world, we always felt safe and secure living and doing business in India. And I think this is very important looking into the future."
Speaking about the ties between India and Israel, Barkat said both the governments of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu are "friendly". He said that India and Israel should focus on business growth. He also attended the India-Israel Business Forum where he said that Indian people are "good friends" of Israel.
Nir Barkat further told ANI, "Both governments, Modi and Netanyahu, are friendly. We both understand how to take our economy to the next level. So, I'm inspired by the opportunity. Naturally, what I believe we should do now is focus on business growth and see how our technology, we're tiny, a little country, less than 10 million people, but we have good ideas."
In late March, Israeli Knesset speaker Amir Ohana and the parliamentary delegation visited India where an MoU on the first cooperation and exchange of information agreement between the parliaments of Israel and India was signed. During his visit, Ohana called on Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar at the Parliament House.
Israel's Knesset, Amir Ohana and the parliamentary delegation held a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi and discussed bilateral ties between the two countries. The two sides discussed strengthening India-Israel ties and promoting cooperation in I2U2.
Notably, India and Israel had celebrated 30 years of the upgradation of bilateral ties to full diplomatic relations in 2022, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. India and Israel have established bilateral consultation mechanisms in all sectors of collaboration, including water, agriculture, counter-terrorism, and defence.