Fri, 02 Dec 2022

New Delhi [India], September 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to Israel in 2017 broke the ice between the two nations and the famous picture of him with ex-Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the pictures that will stay as a symbol of how things are done, said Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon.

"The famous picture of PM Modi with ex-Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Olga beach is one of the pictures that will stay as a symbol of how things are done. The friendship they developed continued with other PMs also," Gilon told ANI while explainning the bond between India-Israel.

Ambassador Gilon also said the big boost to change in our relationship came after a first-ever historic visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Israel followed by Netanyahu's visit to India.

"We have to say that there were visits before that of Indian President and Israeli President, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, but the visit of PM Modi and a few months later in 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to India on January 18 - this was a game changer to relations between the two countries," added Gilon.

PM Modi was on a visit to Israel from July 4-6, 2017, at the invitation of former Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister had called the visit "ground-breaking" as he was received by Netanyahu at the airport.

India established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 and since then the relationship has evolved into a multi-dimensional partnership. "The relations started a little bit slower than hoped, but the big change in 1992 established full diplomatic relations between the two countries," said Gilon.

The Israeli envoy explained how both countries upgraded relations to a strategic partnership and after that' several doors opened for cooperation.

"Thanks to that change, push that was done - we call it de-hyphenation -- in a way India came and said- we have Palestinian issue and Pakistan, we have other issues - Israel will be dealt as Israel, the interest we have with Israel, not the interest we have with Palestine, we will deal with them or issues of Pakistan, other issues. I think this a very healthy approach which enabled a strong relationship between the two countries," he added.

On External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar's comment that PM Modi changed the trajectory of the ties, the envoy said, "In October last year, I accompanied External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to Israel and I would say it is one of the most intimate visits that I have experienced in friendship and gestures between people and leaders."Gilon also shared his views on terrorism and how India and Israel are helping each other to eliminate the problem that both nations have faced. He explained how terror is a disease and it's a complex problem because the idea of the terrorist is to disrupt the normal life of citizens of the countries.

"Israel has been suffering, India has been suffering, and we are cooperating quite well together. All fields from intelligence are helping each other, if we have the knowledge, and information about terror attacks we are cooperating in all fields. We both feel very emotional, strong about the need to eradicate terrorism from this world," said the Israeli Ambassador. (ANI)

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