Modi's visit has huge symbolic significance: Israeli ministry

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Modi's visit has huge symbolic significance: Israeli ministry

"Mr Modi is de-hyphenating relations", says PR Kumaraswamy, who teaches on the Middle East at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

At home, the apparent shift in what has always been a bedrock of India's foreign policy risks sharpening criticism that the country's 180 million Muslims are increasingly being marginalized under Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which swept to power in 2014.

But as ties burgeon, questions are being asked on how India will continue to balance its ties to Israel with its engagements in the Gulf region. "The US-India relationship has been beset by some thorny issues like the US trade deficit to India, the US restriction on granting H-1B visas and climate change since a year ago".

"Developing bilateral relations between the US and India is a sign that Trump's diplomacy is gradually returning to normal", Zongyi said. We have eight million Indian workers there whose remittances are very important. Just $5 a month.

According to reports, Modi is expected to land at the Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv on Tuesday afternoon initiating a game-changing process involving India's public and political approach towards dealing with Israel. During the visit, Modi will also meet 10-year-old Moshe and his grandparents.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Israel today for a three-day visit - the first ever trip by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish state.

Modi recalled that he had visited Israel in 2006 as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The visit will take place July 4th-6th, and will include a call on the Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, and a working meeting and dinner with the Israeli Prime Minister. In October 2015, Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit Israel since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1992.

While detractors oppose these frequent travels as a waste of time and revenue, others see it as an aggressive step to improve India's influence.

Under the far-right nationalist, India's voting pattern at the United Nations, once decidedly pro-Palestinian, has come to favour Israel. "India and Israel could cooperate even more closely and complement each other's efforts to fight with the menace of terrorism", he told the Israeli daily.

"The company collaborates with local companies and works with India's defense agencies, as well as the coast guard, navy, air force and army", said a spokesperson for India Aerospace Industries.

Israel is ranked at 38th in terms of total merchandise trade with India in 2016-2017. "We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism", Modi said.

Going beyond these traditional areas of cooperation, Modi would want to tap into Israeli technological and innovation prowess. The Israeli cabinet has already approved a series of measures and an $80 million budget for joint research and development, mainly in water and agricultural technology programs. It is also about the successful expansion of Israeli diplomacy away from Europe. We are more interested in a tech-based partnership with an emphasis on 'Make in India'.

The prime minister then recalled and said that many Israelis participated in International Yoga Day on June 21.

Modi had described India's ties with Israel as "special" and had said that his visit would "lead to further cementing" of bilateral ties and cooperation in key areas, including counter-terrorism.

This is the first time an Indian leader is visiting Israel and not clubbing his tour with Palestine.

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