India ‘strategic partner and close friend': Israeli official ahead of EAM's visit

Jerusalem, Oct 15: Ahead of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's important visit to Israel, a top Israeli Foreign Ministry official on Friday said that India is “a strategic partner and a very close friend” as he extended warm greetings to the people on Dussehra.

Ambassador Alon Ushpiz, the Director General of Israel's foreign ministry, took to Twitter to wish the people of India on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra which marks the triumph of good over evil.

In the tweet, he announced that Jaishankar would travel to the Jewish state. It is understood that Jaishankar is expected to visit Israel from October 17.

“Shubho Bijoya/Happy Dussehra to all of you, on the eve of @DrSJaishankar's important visit to Israel. India is a strategic partner and a very close friend,” Ushpiz said in a tweet.

During his visit, Jaishankar would meet the country's top leaders, including President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

In August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with his Israeli counterpart Bennett with the two leaders agreeing on the potential to further expand cooperation and deciding that the foreign ministries of the two countries would work on preparing a roadmap for further enriching the India-Israel strategic partnership.

During their telephonic conversation, Modi reiterated his congratulations to Bennett for assuming office as the Israeli Prime Minister in June. Prime Minister Modi emphasised that India greatly values its robust cooperation with Israel in areas like agriculture, water, defence and security, and cyber-security.

Recalling that next year would mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Bennett to visit India.

India is the largest buyer of Israel's military hardware and the latter has been supplying various weapon systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains.

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