PM Modi talks to Israel PM Netanyahu, holds discussion on bilateral relations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday held discussions on bilateral relations and agreed to strengthen strategic cooperation in a range of areas.

PM Modi spoke to Netanyahu on telephone, their first conversation since the Israeli leader returned as prime minister with the formation of his sixth government in December.

“Prime Minister conveyed his warm congratulations to…Netanyahu for his election as the Prime Minister of Israel for a sixth time, and wished him a very successful tenure,” the external affairs ministry said in a brief readout.

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“The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the rapid progress in the India-Israel Strategic Partnership in recent years, and agreed on the potential for further strengthening strategic cooperation in a variety of areas,” the ministry said without giving details.

Modi also invited Netanyahu to visit India at an early date.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Netanyahu called off two planned visits to India in 2019 for various reasons.

Modi was the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel in 2017, and the two countries marked the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2022.

The two sides are engaged in negotiations on a free trade agreement and are also close to concluding a mobility and migration partnership.