Jerusalem, 24 July 1995


(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The leader of the major opposition party of India (BJP), Shri Lal Krishna Advani, will tomorrow (Monday), 24.07.95, arrive for a five day visit in Israel as a guest of the Foreign Ministry. Mr. Advani is scheduled to meet with the President of Israel, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, and will tour Israel. The BJP party (Indian National Party) holds 116 of 426 seats in the Indian parliament, and is the second largest party after the Congress(I) party. The party, which won a number of last year’s provincial elections in India, has traditionally been known as a supporter of Israel.

Israel and India established diplomatic relations in January of 1992, and since that time, have have acted to establish and deepen relations between them in every sphere. Indian newspapers have been emphasizing that Advani is the highest level Indian official ever to visit Israel, and that the visit demonstrates the good relations between India and Israel. Mr. Advani has previously met with Foreign Minister Peres and Deputy Foreign Minister Beilin when they visited India. Over the years, Israel and India have signed agreements concerning tourism, civil aviation, telecommunications, duties, trade, agriculture, and technological and scientific cooperation. In 1994, Israeli exports to India totalled about $400 million, an increase of approximately 600% over three years. Recent Indian dignitaries to visit Israel include the leaders of seven federal provinces in India, the Agricultural Minister, Tourism Minister, Human Resources Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Chairman of the Indian parliament.