‘You’re most popular man in Israel, join my party,’ Israeli PM jokingly tells PM Modi jokingly tells PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a “successful” first meeting with his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett on the sidelines of the COP26 climate summit, during which they exchanged views on expanding cooperation in the areas of high-technology and innovation. Besides providing review of bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Modi and Bennett had their first formal meeting after brief talks on Monday on the sidelines of the climate summit.

In a video, PM Bennett can be heard saying “You are the most popular person in Israel. Come and join my party”, to Prime Minister Modi, while the two shake hands and laugh.

“In their first such event, the two leaders reviewed our bilateral relations and discussed enhancing cooperation in the areas of high technology and innovation,” the statement said.

Later in a brief statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the two leaders reviewed the bilateral strategic partnership and expressed satisfaction at the progress made in various areas.

“They agreed to further expand cooperation, particularly in the areas of high-technology and innovation,” the statement said.

Recalling that next year would be 30 years of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel, Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Bennett to visit India.

Prime Minister Bennett described the “deep relationship” between India and Israel as “heartfelt and not of interest” and urged Modi to work together to take bilateral ties to “a new level”.

“I want to thank you. You are the person who rekindled the relationship between India and Israel, a deep connection between two unique civilizations – Indian civilization, Jewish civilization – and I know that it is in your heart. It’s not about interests, it’s about a deep trust that you harbor and we feel it,” Bennett told Modi at the start of the meeting.

Israel’s prime minister said in a communication to his media adviser, “On behalf of all Israeli citizens, we deeply appreciate this whole new approach that will go down in history as something you brought up. So thank you.” “

Bennett also cited a “remarkable dynamism” between Indian and Israeli innovators during his days as an entrepreneur, which he said helped shape his feelings.

“Indeed, my personal experience, to a large extent, shaped my feelings. As you remember, when I ran a high-tech company, we lived in Manhattan for an Indian company – two ‘I, India and Israel. In the office, there was a bunch of Israelis and Indians, and together there was a remarkable dynamism of innovation. There’s a lot we can learn from you,” he said.

Urging to carry forward the deeper cooperation between the two countries that began during his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister vowed to take relations to a new level.

“That’s exactly what we want to do. Our goal is to continue the wonderful path you took with my predecessor, and to take it to a whole new level, so that we can make sure that both our countries have innovation, technology, Work together on space, security, agriculture, food technologies, and of course technologies related to climate,” Bennett emphasized.

The Israeli Prime Minister also extended Diwali greetings to Modi and Indians.

Prime Minister Modi, who was accompanied by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, held talks with Bennett in a cordially brief meeting on Monday.

In a video tweeted by Modi, the two leaders were seen exchanging happiness during their animated discussion.

“Really! We will continue to work together for stronger bilateral ties and a better planet,” Modi said in a tweet on Tuesday.

“The people of India attach great importance to friendship with Israel,” he tweeted.

“It was great to finally meet you, @NarendraModi,” Prime Minister Bennett said in a tweet. The meeting between Modi and Bennett comes after Modi extended an invitation to the Israeli Prime Minister to India during Jaishankar’s visit to Israel last month.

According to Israeli media reports, Bennett, who became Prime Minister in June this year, is likely to visit India next year.

India and Israel elevated their bilateral ties to a Strategic Partnership during Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to Israel in July 2017.