Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Israel and received a rousing welcome at Tel Aviv airport by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu who greeted him with the words "Aapka swagat hai mere dost."
"My friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, welcome to Israel! Aapka swagat hai mere dost! Prime Minister, we have been waiting for you for a long time. Because yours is truly a historic visit. It's the first time an Indian prime minister is visiting Israel. We receive you with open arms. We love India. We admire your culture. We admire your history, your democracy, and your commitment to progress," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu hailed the cooperation that the two countries have been showing in the field of space.
"Today, even our space programmes are working together to achieve even greater heights. The tides between our talented innovative people is natural. It's so natural that we can ask what took so long for them to blossom," he said.
"Our partnership extends to water, agriculture, security, energy, and other fields. I believe the formula for success is simple it's I squared T squared that equals the talent of both countries times the technology."
"It's said that at the Silicon Valley in California, the two most common languages overheard are Hindi and Hebrew, and occasionally one hears some native English too," he added.
Netanyahu further said that he believes in the success of their partnership because of the great sympathy between the people of the two nations and the natural camaraderie between them.
Netanyahu further described Prime Minister Modi as a great leader and a "world leader."
Speaking here, Prime Minister Modi said, "It is my singular honour to be the first ever prime Minister of India to undertake this ground breaking visit to Israel."
Modi, in his speech, also noted the 41st anniversary of Operation Entebbe, where Prime Minister Netanyahu lost his elder brother Yoni.
He further said that India is a very old civilisation, but a very young nation and the talented and skill youth of the country are also its driving force.
"India counts Israel among its important partners. the need to rely on science, technology, innovation and higher technical education to overcome developmental challenges are common to both of us," the Prime Minister added.
Talking about the 'common threat' of terrorism, Prime Minister Modi said, "Alongside building a partnership of shared economic prosperity, we are also cooperating to secure our societies against common threats such as terrorism."
Prime Minister Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel.
Prime Minister Modi's program for the day includes him visiting a technological centre. From there he will head to Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem accompanied with the Israeli leader.
Tomorrow, the Indian leader will meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, hold talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu and then attend an event organised by the Indian community in Israel in Tel Aviv.
On Thursday, Modi along with his Israeli counterpart, will visit Haifa cemetery, the cemetery of the fallen Indian soldiers in the first world war and place wreath on the grave areas.
From there, the duo will head for a field visit to see the Gal Mobile-integrated water purification vehicle designed to produce high quality drinking water. It can be used during times of disasters to provide drinking water.
-With ANI inputs.