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Israeli PM to visit India in September
July 20, 2003 15:15 IST
Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will tour India from September 9.
Sharon's three-day visit, the first by any Israeli PM, will be the first highest level contact between the countries after the then Israeli president Ezer Wiezman's 1997 tour.
Sharon, who is coming at the invitation of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, will call on President A P J Abdul Kalam and is expected to meet Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and other ministers.
A high-level Israeli business delegation is likely to accompany Sharon and some trade-related memoranda of understanding are likely to be signed during the visit, sources in Tel Aviv said.
Cooperation in the field of anti-terrorism is likely to figure prominently during the visit.
The Israeli PM is also likely to tour some Indian cities including Bangalore and Mumbai, and pay a visit to a 16th century synagogue in Kochi.
Sharon will apprise the Indian leaders of the situation in West Asia and the steps that Israel is taking towards implementation of the 'road map' for peace with Palestine.
Tel Aviv had sent Major General (retd) David Ivry as special envoy of Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom earlier this month to brief the Indian leadership on the West Asia situation.
The two sides are also likely to discuss the situation in post-war Iraq.
After establishment of diplomatic ties on January 29, 1992, there have been a number of official level contacts between the two countries.
Advani went to the Jewish state as home minister in 2000. The then external affairs minister, Jaswant Singh, also visited Israel the same year. There has been no visit by any Indian PM or president to Israel so far.