Indian PM: Israel is a 'real friend' of India

President Rivlin says Indian PM Modi is one of 'the greatest leaders of democracies,' Modi says Israel 'is a real friend.'

Arutz Sheva ,

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Reuven Rivlin
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Reuven Rivlin
Mark Neiman / GPO

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday morning hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his Jerusalem residence.

This is the first time an Indian prime minister is visiting Israel. It is also the third meeting between Rivlin and Modi.

After Rivlin welcomed Modi on the red carpet, and Modi signed the guest book, the two gave media statements and then left for a private working meeting.

"Mr. Prime Minister, it is a real, real honor and pleasure, to host you here in the State of Israel and its capital city of Jerusalem," Rivlin began. "I would like to say that it is only eight months since I visited your country, I will never forget our visit."

"We found a really strong nation, with strong ideas and with strong wishes, and I must say with all the respect that I have, and the pleasure that I have, that you are one of the greatest leaders of democracies in the world at this time. We appreciate very much your visit to Israel.

"We have a lot in common, and we are doing a lot in common. We understood very well your thoughts about the need to have partners who will 'make in India.' The first thing the leaders of Israel at the time did, at the beginning of the State of Israel, the new state in 1948, was to push for us to produce everything in Israel.

"'Make in Israel' was one of the greatest ideas, and one of the most important tasks, and we understand that very well.

"We are doing a lot to fulfill your ideas about 'making in India,' and I suggest that there are some projects that we can do where we 'make with India.' I know that you have accepted that, and I appreciate it very much.

"I know there are a lot of corporations between our universities and Professor Zilbershatz is here today. And B2B cooperation between businessman in India and in Israel - the president of the Israeli industry is here, he was along with me with and many others from Israel trying to find ways in order to invest in India and to make mutual projects together.

"I really believe that there is a need, and I know that you are going to meet the Israeli government to create the ideas of G2G, as you are doing so very well. Also when we have cooperation between B2B, sometimes we need some B2G and the G2B from both sides.

"I explained this to the people in Israel, because they know what they want, and not always are they thinking about the needs of the other side.

"I found you as one of the leaders who really pays attention to all the needs of his people, and also pays attention to the abilities, to the opportunities, and the needs of the other side.

"We respect you very much. It is really a pleasure to have as a guest one of the greatest leaders of the world today, Mr. Prime Minister welcome."

Modi thanked Rivlin and said, "Mr. President, I want to express my gratitude for this warm welcome that has been accorded to me. You came to India in November 2016, we had the opportunity of warmly welcoming you in India, and to really understand and feel India."

"You took time to go to different places and see the entire country, and I think this was also a matter of great fortune for us that we got the opportunity to host you at all of those places.

"I also note the warm welcome and hospitality that has been extended to me since my arrival yesterday. It has been so warm that in a way I can feel the entire country, the feelings, and the sentiments for us, for me, and my delegation. And whatever you saw in India, in a way I can see a glimpse of that since my arrival. Once again let me express my gratitude.

"Your Excellency, you in fact started a phrase when you came to India, and that is 'make with India.' Since my arrival yesterday I have seen that echoed by many people and I think what you have started has multiplied on a number of levels, and I feel that really since my arrival yesterday.

"Your Excellency, in your introductory words, you used all sorts of phrases used in the world of trade and commerce, such as G2G etc, but in the real world what we see today is 'I for I,' and 'I with I.' When I say 'I for I' I don't mean the popular saying, what I mean is 'India with Israel' and 'India for Israel.'

"When we say this we also feel that Israel is a real friend. I have really felt that feeling of kinship. I feel absolutely at home here, the warmth that has emanated from everyone that I have met here.

"Your Excellency, you yourself, you broke protocol and you stepped outside to receive me and this is a mark of respect to the entire Indian nation comprising of 1.25 billion people. You have expressed your love and your sentiments for our country and once again I would especially like to thank you and express my gratitude."

The two went on to hold an extended meeting during which they spoke about the strengthening of ties between the two nations, and expanding cooperation in the fields of agriculture, water, innovation, production, and security.

ריבלין ומודי
צילום: מארק ניימן, לע"מ
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Reuven Rivlin
Mark Neiman / GPO
Indian Prime Minister Narednra Modi signs President's House guestbook
Mark Neiman / GPO