Natanyahu’s visit to India cancelled yet again?
Both Netanyahu and Modi are said to have talked on phone on Tuesday and decided on postponing the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was slated to visit India in September seems to have cancelled his visit once again. Sources within the Indian External Affairs (MEA) Ministry’s protocol division have confirmed that the officers will now be on “focusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much awaited UN visit and speech” as Natanyahu’s visit in the first fortnight of the month is “highly unlikely”.
Both Netanyahu and Modi are said to have talked on phone on Tuesday and decided on postponing the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit. This will be the second consecutive postponement of Natanyahu’s visit. The first schedule was cancelled in April this year, the reason cited being the Indian General Election. It is likely a official communique on Netanyahu’s September visit postponement would come from the External Affairs Ministry, this time citing the General Elections due in Israel this month, the second consecutive one because Natanyahu could not garner a clear majority in the recently concluded polls.
“A string of bilateral meetings between the two heads of state were scheduled during the planned day-long visit by Netanyahu to India. It was scheduled around September 8,” an official in the know of these developments told Asiaville.
The visit was being keenly watched by neighborung Pakistan and other Arab nations, given the closer India-Israel ties in recent times and also due to Israel’s anti-Iran position.
September is a busy month for the protocol division in MEA as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to visit the United States from September 22 to 27. Apart from addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, Modi is likely pitch India’s position to world leaders, he is also likely to have a few important discussions with them on the sidelines of the general assembly proceedings mainly aimed at countering Pakistan’s propaganda on the Kashmir issue. Apart from New York, Modi is also likely to visit Houston during his trip.
Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to India was planned prior to Modi’s UN speech being scheduled and has been keenly monitored by diplomatic circles. Netanyahu was initially scheduled to make the visit to India in April or May before the Lok Sabha polls. But this was postponed because Netanyahu is fighting a tough battle in the repeat poll this month to continue in office.