Jerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday cancelled a planned day-long visit to India on 9 September to meet Narendra Modi, citing scheduling issues due to an unprecedented repeat polls in Israel. A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said the two leaders spoke over phone and they "agreed that due to scheduling constraints, the prime minister's visit will take place after the (17 September) elections."
This is the second time this year that the Israeli leader has cancelled a planned visit to India, doing so earlier before the April elections. Netanyahu's planned visit was widely seen in Israel as an effort by him to project his acceptance worldwide and prop up his campaign just days before the 17 September repeat polls. In July, Netanyahu's Likud Party put banners featuring his pictures with Modi, US president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin to lure support by presenting him in a "different league".
His campaign has focused on bringing out his close chemistry with the world leaders and trying to project him as a leader of unmatched stature in Israeli politics which is crucial for the country's security. Netanyahu, who created history on 20 July by becoming the longest serving Israeli prime minister, surpassing Israel's first premier David Ben-Gurion, is facing a tough political challenge as opinion polls show flagging fortunes for his ruling Likud party.
Israeli lawmakers in May voted 74-45 in favour of dissolving the 21st Knesset (Parliament) and hold an unprecedented re-elections on 17 September after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government after the 9 April polls.
Netanyahu visited India in January 2018, while Modi travelled to Tel Aviv in 2017, becoming the first Indian prime minister to tour the Jewish state. The close chemistry between the two leaders has been often discussed in the Israeli press.
The Great Diwali Discount!
Unlock 75% more savings this festive season. Get Moneycontrol Pro for a year for Rs 289 only.
Coupon code: DIWALI. Offer valid till 10th November, 2019 .
Updated Date: Sep 03, 2019 19:33:25 IST