Report: Indian PM to Visit Israel in Coming Year

In what would mark a historic visit of an Indian PM to Israel, Narendra Modi makes plans to come to the Jewish state.

Cynthia Blank ,

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

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to visit Israel in the coming year, a number of leading Indian media sites reported Sunday, according to Walla! News.

According to the reports, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj revealed Modi's future visit after announcing her own plans to travel to Israel and Jordan to strengthen India's relations with these two countries. 

While a date has not yet been set for Modi's visit, when he comes, it will mark the first visit of an Indian prime minister to Israel since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in the nineties.

Modi, who was elected in 2014, has placed the strengthening of relations between India and Israel as a central goal of his government. 

Last September, he met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly in New York, and even tweeted congratulations to Netanyahu in Hebrew upon his victory in March elections. 

While former foreign ministers and parliamentary leaders have visited Israel from India in the past, an Indian prime minister has never before visited the Jewish state. 

The high point in relations between Israel and India so far was former prime minister Ariel Sharon's visit to India in 2003. In February, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon traveled to the Asian nation making him the first Israeli defense minister to do so. 

Much of Israel's diplomatic ties with India are based on the excellent relations between both countries' defense establishments, with India being the number one buyer of Israeli defense technology.