We have waited 70 years for you,“ Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu greeted PM Narendra Modi as soon as his aircraft touched down at Ben Gurion airport on Tuesday .
Modi reciprocated the warmth, saying his visit marked a “path-breaking journey of engagement“.
Netanyahu said, “We love India. We admire your culture, history, democracy and commitment to progress. I am confident of the real mathematics of life, of success of our partnership.“
“Over coming decades, we want to frame a relationship that transforms the landscape of our economic engagement. India is the world’s fastest-growing large economy. Our focus is on using technology and innovation to meet our development. We also want to put in place a robust security partnership to respond to shared threats to our peace, stability and prosperity . I will work with Prime Minister Netanyahu to craft and build a clear action agenda to realise these objectives”, said Modi.
Addressing Modi, Netanyahu reminded him that he had said “the sky is the limit for India and Israel“. “We are working together in space programs, so we can now say the sky is not the limit anymore.“
Modi’s appreciation of Israel clearly came through. “The people of Israel have built a nation on democratic principles. They have nurtured it with hard work, grit and the spirit of innovation.You have marched on regardless of adversity and converted challenges into opportunity . India applauds your achievements.“
Both leaders bonded at a personal level, which came through clearly in the airport ceremony .
Over the next couple of days, the two men will spend virtually all their waking moments together.