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Narendra Modi To Travel To Israel In July, First Visit By An Indian PM

NEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will become the first Indian premier to visit Israel next month when he travels to Jerusalem on a three-day visit beginning July 4, the foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.

The visit not only marks 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries but also a marked shift in New Delhi approach towards a country that has been its major arms supplier. India is now the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment, while Israel is India’s largest customer after Russia.

The groundwork for the visit, which will see some big ticket defence deals, has been on for months. Among the pacts being finalised is a plan for Spike anti-tank missiles for the Indian army and Barak-8 air defence missiles for the navy valued at $ 1.5 billion

Recently, the Israel Aerospace Industries had announced a $ 2 billion mega missile pact that will give Indian forces an advanced defence system of medium-range surface-to-air missiles. This deal has been called Israel’s biggest defence contract.