Indian warships on goodwill visit to Israel
Harinder Mishra Haifa (Israel)
Four Indian navy warships equipped with modern weaponry are on a goodwill visit to this northern coastal city of Israel to "strengthen service-to- service linkages", as the two countries celebrate 20 years of diplomatic ties this year.
INS Mumbai, Trishul, Gomti and Aditya, from Indian navy's western fleet, anchored at the Haifa coast on Monday as part of their Mediterranean tour. The four-day visit here of the Indian navy warships, which are equipped with electronic sensors and missile systems, "shows the importance India attaches to the growing Indo-Israeli relations and continued cooperation and engagement between the two countries is expected to grow," officials here said.
"Indian warships have regularly paid visits to ports in the West Asia and East Africa reaffirming their peaceful presence and solidarity with countries in the region," they said. The Indian navy has also been at the forefront in providing humanitarian assistance to victims of natural disaster in all parts of the world.
The Mediterranean tour of the four warships is being headed by Rear Admiral A R Karve, who will be calling upon several senior Israeli naval officers and the Mayor of Haifa, Yona Yahav. The Indian sailors will also be paying their respects at the memorial of Indian soldiers buried in Haifa while fighting for the Allied forces in what has come to be known as the war for the liberation of Haifa. In a rare tribute to the Indian soldiers who fought for the liberation of the city, the municipality of Haifa has decided to include the stories of their valiant efforts by incorporating them in the school curricula as part of the history textbooks.