Israel PM to arrive on Monday on six-day India trip

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A warm welcome awaits Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu when the two visit the former's home state likely on January 17, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said today.

During his terms in office as prime minister - in 1996-1999 and from 2009 till now - Netanyahu has visited Russian Federation 12 times.

After his arrival in New Delhi on Sunday afternoon, Netanyahu will hold meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Israeli Embassy said in a statement.

Asked whether purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route will be discussed during Netanyahu's visit, Bhaskar refused to give a direct reply.

Netanyahu's trip "is the grand finale to the celebrations of 25 years of (the) growing partnership between India and Israel".

Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver the keynote address at the Raisina Dialogue organised by the Observer Research Foundation on January 16, and then travel to Ahmedabad with Modi.

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The Russian president and the Israeli prime minister last met in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on August 23, 2017, while on March 10, 2017, they held talks in Moscow.

In Gujarat, both the Prime Ministers will visit the Center of Excellence in Vadrad and inaugurate a Center of Excellence for date palms in Bhuj via video conference. They will also visit the innovation centre.

The "road show" is said to be an 8-kilometer drive from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram.

The Israeli prime minister will have a number of engagements in Mumbai on January 18.

A packed schedule on Thursday for the Israeli Prime Minister in Mumbai would include a "power breakfast" with Indian business leaders, a business seminar, attending two memorial services for the victims of Mumbai terror attacks at the Taj hotel and Nariman House and finally a gala event with Bollywood actors, directors and producers. Israeli PM will woo Bollywood in a "Shalom Bollywood" event.

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