External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Israel and Palestine on January 17-18 to further build on the goodwill generated by the trip of President Pranab Mukherjee to the two West Asian nations three months back.
Palestine will be Ms. Swaraj’s first destination where she will hold talks with leadership of the country with an aim to boost bilateral engagement and deepen mutual understanding at the political level.
“The visit will also reaffirm India’s continued political, diplomatic and developmental support to Palestine,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
After completing her engagements in Palestine on January 17, Ms. Swaraj will go to Israel the same day for a two-day visit during which she will hold discussions with the Israeli leadership and review the entire gamut of India-Israel relations.
Ms. Swaraj’s visit to Israel also assumes significance in view of a possible visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India later this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may also pay a return visit to Tel Aviv.