Israeli PM Netanyahu Cancels Planned Day-Long Visit To India On Sept. 9
File photo of PM Narendra Modi and Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: PTI)

Israeli PM Netanyahu Cancels Planned Day-Long Visit To India On Sept. 9

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a planned day-long visit to India on Sept. 9 to meet Prime Minister 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 (Sept. 17) 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 Sept. 17 repeat polls.

In July, Netanyahu’s Likud Party put banners featuring his pictures with Modi, U.S. 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 July 20 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 Sept. 17 after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government after the April 9 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.

Also read: Netanyahu And The Art of Deflection

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