Naming India as a “close friend“, Israel President Reuven Rivlin has left for New Delhi on a six-day visit to further reinforce two-sided ties between the two nations that he said were places of “innovation and inspiration“. Rivlin, who is arriving with a vast assignment of businessmen and scholastics, will join President Pranab Mukherjee in opening an agro-tech conference in Chandigarh, hold meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and visit several sites of cooperation and joint projects between the two countries.
He will likewise offer his regards at the sites of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and lay wreaths on the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi and at the memorial for Indian warriors who fell in the WWI in battle in Israel and the Middle East. Six Jews were killed at the Mumbai Chabad house amid the Mumbai terror attacks which left more than 166 dead.
“I am departing now on an important visit to India, an important ally and close friend of Israel, a state with whom we have much in common,” Rivlin said just before leaving for New Delhi yesterday.
“Israel and India are both countries of innovation and of inspiration. Countries that have ancient traditions, but have built strong and thriving hi-tech economies, and now celebrate
25 years of diplomatic relations. This visit is a sign of the strong relations and friendship between our peoples, and I hope will plant the seeds for that friendship to grow closer and closer,” Reuven Rivlin said.
The academic delegation accompanying with Rivlin incorporates Presidents and senior agents of 13 Israeli scholarly foundations who are required to consent to 15 separate arrangements amongst Israeli and Indian educational institutions.
“The issue of international cooperation in higher education and the expansion of academic ties between Israel and the world – in particular with India – is one of the central aims of the multi-year plan for higher education in Israel,” said Yaffa Zilbershats, head the Council for Higher Education’s budget committee.
The expansion of academic ties would include student exchanges, joint research projects and the founding of inter-institutional fora to promote academic cooperation between Israeli and India universities and colleges, he noted.
Rivlin, in the past, has complimented the Indian students in Israel, saying “they are among the best“ of the lot.
“India represents a great challenge for Israeli manufacturers and this delegation will afford the opportunity to strengthen cooperation and partnership with their Indian counterparts,” said Shraga Brosh, President of Manufacturers Association of Israel, who is heading the business delegation.