New Delhi: External Affairs on Dr S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Israel between October 17 and 21 at the invitation of the Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid.
"This will be his first visit to the country as External Affairs Minister," an MEA release said. Dr Jaishankar will hold a bilateral meeting with the Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and call on the President, the Prime Minister, and the Knesset Speaker.
"India and Israel elevated bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership during the historic visit of PM Narendra Modi to Israel in July 2017. Since then, the relationship between the two countries has focused on expanding knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including boosting the 'Make in India' initiative," the MEA statement said.
Dr Jaishankar will also interact with the Indian-origin Jewish community in Israel, Indologists, Indian students who are currently pursuing their education in Israeli universities, and business people, including from the hi-tech industries. The visit will also be an occasion to pay tribute to the valiant Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the region, especially during the First World War, the MEA said.
Dr Jaishankar's visit would also ensure engaging the new coalition government in Israel and provide a fresh boost to the bilateral relationship. Naftali Bennett, a right-wing Jewish nationalist, took over as the new PM of Israel, replacing Benjamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, in another statement, MEA stated that the Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan would pay an official visit to the Republic of Sudan on October 18 and 19 and to the Republic of South Sudan from October 20 to October 22.
During his visit to Sudan, MoS Muraleedharan will hold talks with Foreign Minister Dr. Mariam Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and other dignitaries on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. He will call on the President of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, First Lt. General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Al Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. MoS will also interact with the Indian community in Sudan.
In South Sudan, the junior foreign minister will call on President General Salva Kiir Mayardit. He will meet Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mayiik Ayii Deng, Speaker of Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Ms. Jemma NunuKumba and other dignitaries. He will also address the Indian Community in Juba.