Israeli PM discusses global, regional issues with PM Modi

It was the first call between the two leaders after Bennett had to postpone his trip to India scheduled between April 3 and 5 after testing positive for COVID-19.

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who had to postpone his trip to India after contracting COVID-19, on Monday discussed global and regional issues in a telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi who enquired about his health.

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“It was great speaking to you my friend, @NarendraModi. I look forward to seeing you soon!” Bennett tweeted while replying to a tweet from Prime Minister Modi.

The two “discussed global and regional issues, including the Iranian nuclear issue , Israeli PM’s media adviser said in a statement here.

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It was the first call between the two leaders after Bennett had to postpone his trip to India scheduled between April 3 and 5 after testing positive for COVID-19.

The two leaders agreed to work on another date for the visit which comes at a time when they are celebrating 30 years of establishment of diplomatic ties.

It was not clear when the trip would take place.

“Prime Minister Bennett thanked Prime Minister Modi for his condemnation of the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, and for expressing sorrow, in his name and on behalf of the Indian people, for the loss of life as a result of those events, the Israeli official added.

Eleven Israelis were killed in three separate attacks recently in different parts of the country over a seven day period.

The India visit of Bennett who became prime minister in June last year was also aimed at expanding the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of innovation and technology, security and cyber, and agriculture and climate change.

“I am delighted to pay my first official visit to India at the invitation of my friend, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, and together we will continue leading the way for our countries’ relations,” Bennett had said while announcing his visit last month.

“Modi restarted relations between India and Israel, and this is of historic importance. The relations between our two unique cultures – the Indian culture and the Jewish culture – are deep, and they rely on deep appreciation and meaningful collaborations,” he had said.

The two leaders had first met on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November last year during which they reviewed the bilateral ties besides exchanging views about expanding cooperation in areas of high-technology and innovation.

India and Israel elevated their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel in July 2017.

Since then, the relationship between the two countries has focused on expanding knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including boosting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Prime Minister Bennett has earlier described the “deep relationship” between India and Israel as one coming from the heart and not being about interests and urged Prime Minister Modi to work together to take the bilateral ties to “a whole new level”.

Though India recognised Israel in 1950, full diplomatic relations were established in 1992.

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