Narendra Modi to receive Israel PM at Delhi airport

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"A special welcome for a special visit.PM @narendramodi personally receives @IsraeliPM @netanyahu at Delhi airport", tweeted Prime Minister's Office. In the past, Modi has welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his home state.

"Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit", Netanyahu said just before leaving for New Delhi. His visit is happening nearly 15 years after the first visit by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to New Delhi in 2003.

Netanyahu is leading a high-profile delegation comprising 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies drawn from areas like agriculture, water, cyber security, health care and security, on his trip.

Netanyahu will arrive Sunday for a six-day visit.

Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will hold talks on Monday covering entire expanse of ties and explore new areas of cooperation to further deepen the "very very special relationship", the external affairs ministry had said on January 11, 2018. During the trip, several bilateral agreements will be signed.

Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon on Friday down played India's stand at the UN General Assembly over the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in place of Tel Aviv, saying New Delhi's view "cannot influence" Indo-Israel ties.

Netanyahu will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind.

Responding in Hebrew on his own Twitter account, Netanyahu expressed appreciation for Modi's personal welcome.

Netanyahu and Modi are expected to discuss a variety of subjects related to bilateral relations and the global situation.

The Israeli prime minister will travel to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Agra also. The Israeli embassy here said Netanyahu will meet with Jewish community leaders and select members of the Indian business community in Mumbai. Modi and he will also visit the Center of Excellence in Vadrad and inaugurate a Center of Excellence for date palms in Bhuj via video conference.

The first stop for the two leaders will be the Teen Murti monument, where they will lay a wreath commemorating the role of three Indian regiments which fought at the battle of Haifa over a century ago.

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