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New flower named in honour of visiting Indian prime minister
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New flower named in honour of visiting Indian prime minister

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday stopped at a flower farm where a new strain of chrysanthemum was named in honour of the Indian leader.

Netanyahu and his guest, who arrived earlier at Ben Gurion International Airport, stopped at the Danziger Flower Farm at the Mishmar Hashiva agricultural community, as Modi kicked off the first-ever trip to Israel by an Indian prime minister, before heading to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and a state dinner in Jerusalem. 

To mark the occasion, officials named a new white chrysanthemum developed at the farm “MODI” in honour of the visitor.

Billed as a celebration of the 25-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Modi’s visit marks the first to Israel by an Indian head of government.

Besides sit-downs with senior politicians and business leaders, his packed itinerary included meeting a Jewish victim of a terror attack in Mumbai; visiting a desalination plant and the Israel Museum; headlining a rally for thousands of Indians living in Israel; and laying wreaths at a military cemetery in Haifa.

India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted that the flower naming was “a symbol of the blooming international relationship” between the two countries.

To underline the importance Jerusalem is ascribing to Modi’s visit, Netanyahu cleared his schedule to be at his prominent guest’s side throughout almost the entire time he is in the country. This kind of attention by an Israeli prime minister is usually reserved for American presidents.

Pointedly, the Indian prime minister will not visit the Palestinian Authority, an exceedingly rare move for countries with good ties in the Arab world. New Delhi has explained this anomaly as part of a desire to “de-hyphenate” its relationships with Jerusalem and with Ramallah.

India had traditionally voiced its support for Palestinian statehood, long shunning overtly warm ties with Israel until the Modi era.

 Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Thursday, July 06, 2017
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