One UN vote can't change our relations: Israel PM Netanyahu


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today began his official visit to India - his first visit there as prime minister.

Modi and Netanyahu are known to share a warm rapport. She pointed out the fact that the reciprocal visits in the past year reflect the friendship between the countries.

Modi, who made history in July when he became the first Indian PM to visit Israel, would accompany Netanyahu for most part of his tour that will also take him to Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Agra.

One important aspect of those ties is the security dimension, something discussed at an evening meeting between Netanyahu's National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, at Doval's home. He added that PM Modi was working towards a bright future for India.

"Yes, naturally we were disappointed, but this visit is a testimony that our relationship is moving on so many fronts forward", Netanyahu said when asked to comment on India's vote at United Nations against the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

According to a statement by Netanyahu's media adviser, the Israeli prime minister told Swaraj that there is a lot of enthusiasm for improving ties not only in the meetings at the level of government and leaders but also among the people of the two countries.

Prime Minister Netanyahu added that he hopes his visit to India will strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various areas like technology, agriculture and other spheres that are changing the world.

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The three bronze statues at Teen Murti represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade that liberated the Israeli city of Haifa on September 23, 1918 during World War 1. At the ceremony, Netanyahu said, "This gesture highlights the special connection and common history between Israel and India".

Israel is one of India's biggest weapons suppliers, exporting an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.

Given India's importance in being a major auto dealer, he said that it would be important for India and Israel to have a good tie-up between vehicle manufacturers. He will then meet with India's President Ram Nath Kovind, followed by an event with Indian and Israeli business leaders, the Post said.

The Post quoted unnamed Israeli diplomatic officials as saying they did not expect India's vote against Israel on the Jerusalem issue in the UN General Assembly last month to cloud the visit.

"The relationship is an all-weather strong and so important to both countries that our feeling is that nothing can reverse it", Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon had said on Friday on being asked about the vote.

On the day of his arrival, he will call on by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj.