‘Mukherjee’s Israel visit a historic political milestone’


New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee’s three-day state visit to Israel from Tuesday, the first by an Indian president, marks an historic political milestone and reflects the continued strengthening of bilateral relations, Israel has said.

Mukherjee, visiting at the invitation of his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, will receive an official reception at the Israeli president’s residence, after which the two heads of state will hold a working meeting.

Later, Rivlin will host a state dinner in honor of Mukherjee.

Rivlin said the visit of Mukherjee, “more than being an important milestone in the relationship of the two countries, will serve to deepen the friendship between our states, in the fields of economy, science, medicine, and agriculture”.

He said he was looking forward to the Indian president’s visit, “which will represent one of the highlights of the relationship between the Israeli and Indian peoples”.

Mukherjee’s itinerary includes a luncheon with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as meetings with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and with Opposition chairman Isaac Herzog.

Mukherjee is to deliver an address at a special plenary meeting of the Knesset.

On October 15, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will confer an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree upon Mukherjee. The award will be conferred in recognition of his longtime exemplary public service as a leading diplomat and champion of social and financial reform; in tribute to his steadfast commitment to higher education; and in appreciation of his longstanding advocacy of the relationship with the State of Israel, said an official statement from the Israeli embassy here.