Visit of Israeli President Rivlin ‘historic’, says President Mukherjee

New Delhi [India], Nov. 16 : President Pranab Mukherjee has said that the visit of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to India is historic as it is taking place after a long gap of 20 years.

President Mukherjee yesterday received his Israeli counterpart Rivlin and Nechama Rivlin at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

He also hosted a banquet in their honour. The President said it is matter of great satisfaction to India that since up-gradation of relations in 1992, India-Israel bilateral relations have diversified and are marked by high level visits from both the countries.

"These exchanges have helped both countries identify new areas of cooperation. India welcomes Israel's interest in participating in India's flagship programmes like 'Smart Cities', 'Digital India', 'Swacch Bharat' etc.

Israeli participation in India's agriculture sector is valued and benefitting our farmers," he added.

Responding to the President's sentiments, the Israel President said the Middle East and India have known each other for thousands of years and Israel is ready to share its knowledge with the people of India.

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Mukherjee said the recent bilateral exchanges reflect the high level of trust and mutual understanding.

"They underline our shared desire to intensify multi-faceted bilateral co-operation. India's economy is presently on a positive trajectory," he added. The President said, "Our governments have jointly identified areas that we would like to prioritise - where we have tremendous synergies.

India needs to develop its capabilities in water resources management, agriculture, defence, renewable energy, academic exchanges, science and technology as well as homeland and cyber security.

Israel has advanced technologies and proven capabilities in these key sectors." The President said many of the challenges of the 21st century call for a co-ordinated response from the global community.

"To effectively respond to global challenges including climate change, we will need to collectively work for efficient solutions.

We must leave our children a world that is better, cleaner and healthier, a world that is at peace, where diverse peoples live and flourish side by side in peace, respectful of each other's beliefs and in total harmony with each other," he said.

"He was confident that together, India and Israel can realise this important goal. As we celebrate 25 years of our diplomatic relations next year, India looks forward to further intensifying our partnership for our mutual benefit and the good of the world," he added.

Source: ANI