SM Krishna to visit Israel, Palestine today

Last Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 10:46

New Delhi: In a visit marked by immense
significance, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will
travel to Israel and Palestine on Sunday, the first by an
Indian Foreign Minister in over a decade.

During the first leg of the visit, Krishna will be in Tel
Aviv where he is expected to meet Israeli President Simon
Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu besides holding
talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman.

The two sides are expected to discuss ways to further
bolster the bilateral ties across the spectrum, with focus on
trade and economic aspects.

Anti-terror cooperation is also expected to figure
prominently in the discussions, against the backdrop of growth
in this aspect of the relationship since the Mumbai 2008
attacks in which six Israeli nationals were killed.

Of late, Israel has become India`s second largest defence
supplier after Russia.

Krishna’s visit to Israel assumes significance because
the last such trip took place in July 2000 when the then
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh travelled there.

Bilateral trade and economic relations have progressed
rapidly recently. From a mere USD 200 million in 1992, the
bilateral trade was expected to reach a USD 5 billion by last
year-end.

After his visit to Tel Aviv, Krishna will travel to
Ramallah where he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas.

India was the first non-Arab country to recognise the
statehood of Palestine in 1988 when it was declared.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 10:46

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