New Delhi [India], April 1 (ANI): Israel's Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana said he choose India as his first destination as Speaker to visit as it is the largest democracy in the world and because the country is progressing rapidly in recent years.
Ohana said India and Israel have a great connection between leaders, between the people and a great new connection between parliaments.
Knesset is the unicameral parliament of Israel and the supreme authority of the state.
"I chose India as my first destination as speaker to visit because it's the largest democracy in the world, because it is progressing rapidly in recent years, because the connection between our two countries is so great in recent years and because never has a speaker of the Knesset visited India," Ohana said.
"So, in that case, it is a historic visit. I met the president of India, the vice president who is also the speaker of the upper house and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the lower house which I signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with to strengthen the relationship between the parliaments. So, we have a great connection between the leaders, between the people and a great new connection between parliaments," the Knesset Speaker further said.
Ohana on Friday called India one of Israel's closest and dearest friends. He called it a distinct pleasure to have been invited to India.
Knesset Speaker made the statement during a meeting with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. "It is a great honour for me to be here with you today. This is indeed not only my first visit to India but also the first visit of any Speaker of the Knesset on an official visit to India. And it is my distinct pleasure to have been invited specifically to India, one of Israel's closest and dearest friends and the world's largest democracy," Ohana said.
"When I had to decide where to make my first official visit as speaker of the Knesset, India stood up with all the other countries. We saw it not only as a dear friend but also as a rising power in the world in many, many fields," he added.
Ohana said that Israel and India are marking 31 years of diplomatic ties. He said, "Our countries are marking 31 years of full diplomatic relations. What started as ties between two ancient civilizations with rich histories and tremendous respect for our traditions, is now a friendship based on common interests in almost every aspect of life. We also share a deep historical connection."A Parliamentary Delegation from Israel, led by Ohana called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday, according to an official release.
Welcoming the delegation, the President said that over the last 30 years, the diplomatic relations between the two countries have grown into a multidimensional strategic partnership.
Ohana in a tweet on Saturday wrote: "On behalf of the Israeli delegation, I thank you Honorable President Smt. Murmu Ji for your kind words and for the gracious hospitality. It is a true honour to be the first Speaker of the Knesset to visit India, a country we hold in high esteem and share a unique bond with." (ANI)