“The attitude toward Israel was very warm and friendly and included many things that are important to our security and our economy,” Netanyahu said of his latest visit to Europe.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded Israel’s blossoming diplomatic relations, saying that the prevailing attitude toward Israel is “very warm and friendly.”

Speaking at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday, Netanyahu stated that “Israel is a democracy, the only true democracy in the Middle East, and as such we have special ties with the democratic world.”

Over the weekend, Netanyahu traveled to Germany for the funeral of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, during which he met with several European leaders.

“The attitude toward Israel was very warm and friendly and included many things that are important to our security and our economy,” Netanyahu reported.

Relating to American Independence Day, Netanyahu said that “we are celebrating the festive day of the strongest democracy in the world, our greatest friend – the United States; our alliance with it is strengthening.”

Building a Strong Friendship with India

Commenting on the constantly budding ties between Israel and India and the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel, Netanyahu said that “India is the largest democracy in the world. This is an historic first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel in 70 years and it attests to the fact that our relations with India have become closer in recent years.”

Modi’s historic visit to the Jewish state, which begins on Tuesday, will be the first by a sitting Indian prime minister.

“This is the fruit of my and his initiated policy,” Netanyahu pointed out. “We discussed it several years ago at our first meeting at the UN in New York and afterward in Davos, and our governments and peoples are sharing in this effort to build a strong friendship between us.”

Netanyahu first met Modi in 2014 in New York during a United Nations summit. The meeting was the first to take place between Israeli and Indian leaders in a decade.

“This visit will deepen cooperation in a range of areas – security, agriculture, water, energy, almost every field in which Israel is engaged. I will accompany the Prime Minister at many events during his visit as befits the leader of the largest democracy in the world,” Netanyahu concluded.

In a sign of the warming relationship between the two countries, Israel’s cabinet last week approved several decisions that will strengthen these ties, including expanding exports, deepening cooperation in agriculture and water, the establishment of a joint innovation, research and development fund, and an increase in tourism from India to Israel.

The visit marks 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two allies.

The relationship was given a further boost during the visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Israel in 2015 and the reciprocal visit of President Reuven Rivlin to India this past December.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel