Speaking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said that the “important relationship” between India and Israel should be sustained but not at the expense of India’s relations with Palestine.
“Very important relationship which I believe India needs to sustain, while at the same time making sure it’s not at the expense of our traditional loyalty and ties with Palestinians and the Palestinian cause,” said the Congress parliamentarian from Thiruvananthapuram.
Tharoor also lauded the visit saying that the relationship between India and Israel had reached “a level of maturity” which had made it possible for a first-ever visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister.
Meanwhile in an interview to CNN News18, Tharoor said that it was the duty of the government to address both “domestic and international” concerns over Modi’s visit to Israel.
“Duty of Government to attend to the concerns of the domestic and international voices over PM’s visit to Israel,” Tharoor was quoted as saying.
In the interview he also said that credit should also go to the Congress party for strengthening the relationship with Israel in past and that he hoped that the current government ‘upgrades’ the relationship.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel on a three-day visit on Tuesday to commemorate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The first Indian prime minister to visit the country, Modi will hold talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on a range of issues, including terrorism and counter-terrorism operations. The two leaders are likely to sign a number of agreements in relation to innovation, development, science and technology and space. Modi will also call on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the leader of opposition Isaac Herzog.
Ahead of Modi’s visit, Netanyahu said, “The Indian Prime Minister, my friend, Narendra Modi will arrive in Israel. This is a historic visit to Israel. In the 70 years of the country’s existence, no Indian Prime Minister has ever visited and this is further expression of the state of Israel’s military, economic and diplomatic strength. This is a very significant step in strengthening relations between the two countries.” Modi and Netanyahu have met twice on the sidelines of UN events, prior to this.