Foreign Minister Jaishankar to leave for Israel for 5-day visit

Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar will leave for Israel on Sunday for a 5-day visit, for the first engagement of this level with the 4-month government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, and his first visit to the country as Minister, announced the MEA.

Jaishankar will have bilateral talks with Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who is also the deputy prime minister, and is expected to take office as prime minister in 2023, as part of the government’s coalition agreement. succeeded Benjamin Netanyahu.

It is also expected to call on President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Bennet and Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, all of whom have taken up their new roles in recent months. Ambassador-designate to India Naor Gilon, who has yet to present his credentials to India, said the visit would be “intensive”.

“While waiting to accompany Dr S Jaishankar on his first visit as EAM,” Mr Gilon wrote in a tweet, adding that “a very intensive visit is planned, aimed at further consolidating the announced strategic partnership during PM’s historic 2017 visit to Israel. ”

The 2017 visit marked the first time that an Indian prime minister had visited Israel. “Since then, the relationship has focused on expanding the knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including strengthening the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” said MEA, indicating that Jaishankar would also interact with business leaders in the high-tech and innovation industry.

He is also expected to visit Haifa to pay tribute to Indian soldiers who were killed in World War I, and will hold meetings with the “Jewish community of Indian descent, indologists and Indian students who are currently pursuing their education in the Indian communities. Israeli universities, “It said.

Mr Jaishankar’s visit also follows the controversy over Pegasus surveillance and revelations that a number of Indian journalists and political and business figures among people from other countries saw their phones hacked using Pegasus software from the Israeli company NSO. While NSO insists it only sells software to government agencies and that the deals must be approved by the Israeli government, New Delhi has denied exercising the surveillance that allegedly began after Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Israel and meetings with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Shirlene J. Manley