India’s Leader Lands in Israel on Historic Visit

TEL AVIV (AP) -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (2nd R) welcomes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2nd L) during an official welcoming ceremony upon his arrival in Israel at Ben Gurion airport, Tuesday. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has landed in Israel for a high-profile visit aimed at celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations and strengthening his country’s already warm ties with Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu greeted Modi at Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday and will accompany the Indian leader throughout his three-day visit. Israeli officials say the warm treatment goes well beyond diplomatic protocol and reflects the importance of the visit.

During the Cold War, India didn’t have open relations with Israel, leaning heavily in favor of the Palestinians.

But over the past quarter century, the countries have developed close ties in high-tech and defense.

PM Modi will hold talks with PM Netanyahu, with tech companies and with the local community of Indian Jews. His schedule doesn’t include any meetings with Palestinian officials.