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NEW DELHI: India's foreign minister S. Jaishankar will travel to Israel in a visit starting over the weekend, the first since a new government headed by prime minister Naftali Bennett took office earlier this year.

The 17-21 October visit is taking place “at the invitation of Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid," an Indian foreign ministry statement said on Saturday.

“He ( Jaishankar ) will hold a bilateral meeting with the Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel. Further, he will also call on the President, the Prime Minister, and the Knesset Speaker," as per the statement.

Bennett and his eight-party coalition government took office in June, ending Benjamin Netanyahu’s tenure as prime minister that lasted 12 consecutive years.

India and Israel elevated bilateral relations to Strategic Partnership during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July 2017.

“Since then, the relationship between the two countries has focused on expanding the knowledge-based partnership, which includes collaboration in innovation and research, including boosting the ‘Make in India’ initiative," the Indian foreign ministry statement said.

Jaishankar “will interact with the Indian-origin Jewish community in Israel, Indologists, Indian students who are currently pursuing their education in Israeli universities, and business people, including from the hi-tech industries," it said.

“The visit will also be an occasion to pay tribute to the valiant Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the region, especially during the First World War," it added.

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