Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (L) and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug each other after reading their joint statement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
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Narendra Modi begins a first visit to Israel by an Indian prime minister Tuesday, in a public embrace of a country that he has long admired for its military and technical expertise but which his predecessors kept at arm's length.Netanyahu, hailing what he described as Modi's "historic visit," said Monday he and the Indian leader have worked together over the past few years to build a "steadfast friendship" between Israel and India.An Israeli diplomat said Modi's standalone trip to Israel was an important signal.The two sides are expected to announce strategic partnerships in areas including water, agriculture and space technology during Modi's visit.Israel, the United States and Russia are India's top military suppliers, and Modi's government has said it would favor countries that are ready to share technology.Modi will be discussing a plan for Israeli help in boosting India's food security, officials said.
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