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Netanyahu invites Indian PM to visit Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New York yesterday and extended an invitation for him to visit Israel to discuss cooperation in the fields of cyber-defence, high-tech, water and agricultural technologies.

The meeting is the first time the two have met since Modi was elected as prime minister in May, and comes as both leaders are in New York to attend the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu raised the issue of the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran as well as the global threat posed by Islamic terrorism,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement released today.

“We are very excited by the prospects of greater and greater ties with India. We think the sky’s the limit,” Netanyahu said during a press conference prior to the meeting.

“I agree with you that India-Israel relations are [historic],” Modi said.

“Apart from these, there were discussions on matters relating to how Israel perceives developments in the region that is West Asia. Also, Israeli Prime Minister explained their views and vision on talks that are happening between Iran and P5+1,” Modi’s spokesperson said.

Netanyahu called his Indian counterpart to pay an official visit to Israel to expand bilateral relations between the countries.

According to a statement, Netanyahu is expected to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry today and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tomorrow before heading to Washington where he will be received by US President Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday.

Israeli political sources said the meeting will focus on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.

The West and Israel accuse Iran of seeking to produce nuclear weapons. A charge which Tehran denies, saying its nuclear program is designed for peaceful purposes, such as electricity production.

Tehran says Tel Aviv is detracting attention from what it says is Israel’s huge nuclear arsenal which is not subject to international scrutiny.

Iran has been locked in negotiations with the P5+1 group: the United States, Russia, China, UK, and France, plus Germany, regarding its nuclear program. No agreement has been reached to date.

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