After the formation of the new government in Israel, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is going to visit the country for the first time. This will be the first high-level talks between the two countries after the Pegasus surveillance scam made headlines across the globe.
Jaishankar will be on an official visit starting Sunday. The Indian Foreign Minister is visiting to strengthen ties with Israel after Netanyahu's government.
During his visit, External Affairs Minister Jaishankarwill meet the top leadership of Israel's coalition government, including Israeli PM Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and National Security Advisor Iyal Hulta.
Israel's Foreign Secretary Alon Ushpiz confirmed and welcomed Jaishankar by tweeting. The evening before Jaishankar's visit to Israel, he tweeted, "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."
Jaishankar's visit to Israel comes after his three-nation tour of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Armenia. India and Israel have traditionally had close ties and over the years the two countries have developed close "cooperation" in intelligence sharing and "anti-insurgency" operations.
India recognized the Jewish state of Israel in 1950 but established full diplomatic relations only after 1992. Relations between the two countries have gained momentum, given general concerns about religious extremism and global terrorism. India has become a major buyer of Israeli weapons until the Pegsus spyware row that rocked the country recently.
During the visit, Jaishankar will meet with members of the Indian-origin Jewish community in Israel, Indologists, Indian students pursuing their education at Israeli universities, and businesspeople, including those in the high-tech sector, according to a statement.
The visit will also be an opportunity to pay tribute to the valiant Indian soldiers who died in the region, particularly during the First World War, a statement from the MEA said.