EAM Sushma Swaraj set to visit Palestine, Israel on January 16-17

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is set to visit Palestine and Israel on January 17 and 18 with an aim to boost bilateral ties with the west Asian nations.

Swaraj, who will be accompanied by Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) and other members from the ministry, will first visit Palestine, where she will hold talks with the Palestinian leadership to boost bilateral relationship and deepen mutual understanding at political level. She will also inaugurate Palestine Digital Learning and Innovation Centre in Ramallah.

The visit will also reaffirm India's continued political, diplomatic and developmental support to Palestine," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, adding the trip will further "deepen the mutual understanding at the political level and boost bilateral engagement with Palestine."

After completing her engagements in Palestine on January 17, Ms Swaraj will leave for Israel the same day during which she will hold discussions with the Israeli leadership and review the entire gamut of India-Israel relations, which is on an upswing.

In her maiden visit to Israel, Ms Swaraj will have meetings with President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Minister of Defence Moshe Ya’alon, Minister of National Infrastructure Yuval Steinitz and other members of the Israeli legislature.

EAM will also interact with the Indian diaspora in Israel.

The visit is an important ingredient in the ever-growing relations, friendship and partnership between the two countries," the Israeli Embassy said in a statement.

The visit will augment India's bilateral relations with Israel and further strengthen the linkages between the two sides," MEA spokesperson added.

EAM Swaraj’s visit to Israel assumes significance after President Pranab Mukherjee visited Tel Aviv in October last, year becoming the first Indian Head of State to visit the Jewish nation.

(With agency inputs)

News24 Bureau