Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett on Tuesday shared a light moment during their maiden formal meeting here when the latter informed the Indian leader about his popularity in Israel and invited him to join his party.
Prime Minister Modi met Bennett on the sidelines of the COP26 climate summit here on Tuesday during which they reviewed the bilateral ties besides exchanging views about expanding cooperation in areas of high-technology and innovation.
Modi and Bennett’s maiden formal meeting came after their brief interaction on Monday during the climate conference.
According to a video shared on social media, Bennett told Prime Minister Modi, ”you are the most popular person in Israel.” Replying to the comment, Modi said, ”thank you, thank you.” Bennett further asked Modi to join his Yamina Party.
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”Come and join my party,” Bennett said, as the two leaders laughed and shook hands.
Earlier, recalling their brief meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Modi said that the people of India deeply value the friendship with Israel.
”Enhancing friendship with Israel. Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @naftalibennett had a fruitful meeting in Glasgow. Both leaders discussed deepening various avenues of cooperation for the benefit of our citizens,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
The meeting between Modi and Bennett comes after Jaishankar, during his visit to Israel last month, extended an invitation to the Israeli premier on behalf of Modi to visit India.
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 relations to a strategic partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel in July 2017.
Since then, the relationship between the two countries has focused on expanding knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including boosting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.