Indian PM: Israel is a lighthouse

Prior to his upcoming visit to Israel, Indian PM Narendra Modi speaks about his take on Jerusalem, peace, and Israeli technology.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Prime Minister Netanyahu with India's PM Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Netanyahu with India's PM Narendra Modi
Avi Ohayon, GPO

In an interview with Hebrew-language newspaper Israel Hayom, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his admiration of the Jewish nation and the State of Israel, and set goals for his upcoming trip to Israel, but said he would only move the Indian Embassy to Jerusalem after the Israeli-Arab conflict comes to an end.

"I am one of many people in my nation who sees Israel as a lighthouse of technology, as a country whihc has succeeded in surviving despite all odds," Modi said. "Many of today's technological inventions were developed at Israeli universities and labs, and have helped humanity as a whole. These inventions include cherry tomatoes as well as various devices."

"The way you changed from a country suffering continuous droughts to a country with excess USB storage, and the way you made the desert bloom, is nothing short of amazing.

"The relationship between our countries has always been strong, and over the years, it's become even stronger. Our developing relationship is expressed by more frequent visits, and of more important people. No Indian prime minister or president ever visited Israel before our 2015 visit.

"My visit will strengthen the ancient ties between our nations. Our shared world views must be expressed by a relationship in all areas. I think that this year, as we mark 25 years of diplomatic relations, we have en excellent opportunity to take our relationship to the next level."

Regarding India's attitude towards Israel in the United Nations and whether it would become more pro-Israel in the future, Modi said, "Our stance at the UN is decided by the specific topic under discussion. Each topic is different, and we decide based on our value system."

"We intend to keep the lines of communication and discussion with our partners open - and that includes Israel. We want to find optimal solutions for UN and other bilateral issues. India does not support discrimination against any particular UN country.

Modi also said he intends to visit Jerusalem, but when asked about whether he would move the Indian Embassy to Israel's capital, he balked.

"I believe in a two-state solution, in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state live beside each other in peace. Any permanent agreement must recognize the feelings and demands of all sides involved. The key to a solution is in the parties' hands.

"India supports all means of finding a mutually agreeable solution for the current problems, including that of Jerusalem. Regarding the Indian Embassy, we will make a decision only after both sides come to an agreement about Jerusalem."