Soon After Delhi Arrival, Israel Minister Says Have To Return. Here’s Why

New Delhi:Israel Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Tuesday said he would cut short his three-day visit to India in view of a “security update” he received on his arrival here regarding Tel Aviv’s operation against a militant group in Gaza Strip.

The visiting Israeli minister, who held wide-ranging talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar focusing on the expansion of bilateral ties in various key areas including trade, investment, defence and agriculture, said he will return home after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

In an address at the India-Israel Business Forum, Mr Cohen said he would raise with Prime Minister Modi the issue of the free trade agreement between the two countries. “I believe it can boost our relations,” he said.


Mr Jaishankar after his talks with Mr Cohen tweeted,”productive and wide-ranging discussions with Foreign Minister @elicoh1 of Israel this afternoon. The main pillars of our Strategic Partnership – Agriculture, Water, Defence & Security – are taking our ties forward. New agreements in water & agriculture today underline the potential to do more.”

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He also said that apart from discussing cooperation in high tech, digital & innovation, as also connectivity, mobility tourism, finance, and health, they also noted the progress in I2U2 and cooperation in multilateral forums.

“Exchanged perspectives on our respective regions, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific. Initialed an agreement in the area of mobility,” Mr Jaishankar added. Shortly after Mr Cohen arrived in Delhi, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said he will leave for Tel Aviv after calling on PM Modi.

“Foreign Minister Eli Cohen landed a short while ago in New Delhi, the capital of India, and as soon as he landed he received a security update,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “In light of the events in Israel, Foreign Minister Cohen decided to cut short his diplomatic visit to India and return to Israel after the meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that will take place today,” it said.

According to reports from Tel Aviv, Israel has launched a major military offensive targeting some militants in the Gaza Strip. At least 12 Palestinians, including three commanders of the militant group Islamic Jihad, have been killed in the air strikes, they said.

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