NEW DELHI: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, first President of the Jew nation-state to come to India since 1996, landed in Mumbai on Monday with defence and trade ties on his mind.
During his six-day long visit in two decades, President Rivlin attended a ceremony at Taj Hotel that was attacked during the Mumbai terror attack on November 26, 2008 that claimed Jewish lives as well. Six Jews were killed when 10 gun wielding terrorists from Karachi landed on the shores of India’s commercial capital and also targeted Jewish locality in Chabad House. He also laid wreaths at Mahatma Gandhi memorials and Indian soldiers who scarified life during World War-I.
In an interview to the PTI, Rivlin also extended support to India’s fight against terrorism. “Terror is terror is terror, whoever carries it out and whoever are its victims. And we all have the duty to condemn in our words, and fight with our deeds against this terrible evil,” he added. India imports 50 percent of Israel’s total arms sale.
He arrived in Delhi late Monday evening and is scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Accompanied by a big delegation comprising of businessmen and academicians, President Rivlin has a busy itinerary that saw him traveling to Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh. He will be accompanied by arm manufacturers who will be holding parleys with Indian government officials.
While embarking on his India trip, the Israeli President took to social networking site Twitter to tweet in Hind where he said: “Rashtrapati Mukherjee ke nimantran par Udyog or shiksha jagat ke pratinidhimandal ke sath bharat ki rajakiya yatra pe ravana ho raha hun (Departing on a state visit to India at the invitation of President Mukherjee, with a delegation of industry, academic heads).”
The Israeli President will be visiting some of the institutions that has been built with the help of Tel Aviv – an Israeli Treatment plant in Agra and an Indo-Israeli Agricultural Project’s Center of Excellence in Karnal. He will also be visiting Taj Mahal.