UNITED NATIONS: He may have hosted over a hundred of world leaders to Israel this year but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feels the visits by the US President Donald Trump and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi were "truly historic".
Netanyahu mentioned this on Tuesday during his address to the United Nations General Assembly here.
With Modi, Netanyahu said, they imagined the endless possibilities for Israel, for India and for all of humanity.
"I stood here last year on this podium, and I spoke about this profound change in Israel's standing around the world. Just look at what has happened since, in one year, has happened cents. Hundreds of presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and other leaders have visited Israel, many for the first time," Netanyahu said.
"Of these many visits, two were truly historic. In May, President Trump+ became the first American president to include Israel in his first visit abroad. President Trump stood at the Western Wall, the foot of Temple Mount, where the Jewish people, or rather the Jewish people's temples, stood for nearly 1,000 years," he said.
And when the President touched those ancient stones, he touched our hearts forever, Netanyahu said.
In July, Netanyahu said, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel+ . He also shared with the world leaders his meeting with the Indian premier.
"You may have seen the pictures. We were on a beach in Podera. We rode together in a jeep outfitted with a portable desalinisation device that some thriving Israeli entrepreneur invented. We took off our shoes, waded into the Mediterranean, and drank seawater that had been purified only a few minutes earlier," Netanyahu said.
He said in the past year, Israel has hosted a number of world leaders and visited six different continents.
"(In) One year — six continents. I went to Africa, where I saw Israeli innovators increasing crop yields, turning air into water, fighting AIDS. I went to Asia, where we deepened our relations with China, and with Singapore, and expanded our cooperation with our Muslim friends in Azberbaijan and Kazakhstan," he said.
"I went to Europe, where in London and Paris, Saloniki and Budapest, we enhanced our security and economic ties," he said.
The Israel Prime Minister also expressed his desire to visit Antarctica.
"Now, it's true. I haven't yet visited Antarctica, but one day I have to go there. I want to go there, too, because I've heard penguins are also enthusiastic supporters of Israel," he added.
CHENNAI: A day after Tamil Nadu assembly Speaker P Dhanapal disqualified 18 rebel AIADMK legislators under the Anti-Defection Act for withdrawing their support to chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the Madras high court on Tuesday agreed to hear their pleas assailing the disqualification on an urgent basis.
Justice M Duraiswamy allowed an urgent mention made by senior counsel P R Raman on behalf of the legislators.
Seeking an urgent hearing, the counsel said the constitutional rights of the 18 MLAs to cast their votes in case of a floor test would be greatly affected if their pleas against their illegal disqualification was not heard on an urgent basis.
Agreeing to hear the pleas on Wednesday, the judge directed them to file a proper petition.
Tamil Nadu assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday disqualified 18 AIADMK MLAs who are supporting sidelined party deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran. The MLAs were disqualified under Schedule 10 of the Indian Constitution, which deals with the anti-defection law.
Last month, 19 MLAs met Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and gave separate letters withdrawing their support to chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami after the EPS faction and the group led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam merged.
With 18 MLAs disqualified, there are 19 seats vacant now. This means the assembly has only 215 elected members. The government needs only 108 votes to prove its majority in the assembly now in case of a floor test.
"I have long respected India's accomplished and charismatic Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and it was an honor to meet her today," Ivanka said.
US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session. Ivanka, who would be leading American delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India in November, discussed about women’s entrepreneurship and workforce development in the two countries. “We had a great discussion on women’s entrepreneurship, the upcoming #GES2017 and workforce development in the US and India,” Ivanka said in a tweet after the meeting.
India and the US will co-host the GES in Hyderabad from November 28 to 30. The GES is the preeminent annual gathering of emerging entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders from around the world. Ivanka, 35, took to twitter to express her respect for Swaraj, whom she described as the “charismatic” foreign minister. “I have long respected India’s accomplished and charismatic Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and it was an honor to meet her today,” Ivanka said.
Swaraj discussed “Women Empowerment” and Ivanka’s forthcoming visit to India, the Indian Embassy here said in a tweet. During her week-long stay here, the minister, leading a high-powered Indian delegation, is expected to hold about 20 bilateral and trilateral meetings with leaders attending the session. Swaraj is scheduled to leave for India, a day after her address to the UN General Assembly on September 23.
Concerned about slowdown in the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with finance minister Arun Jaitley and other top officials on Tuesday to take stock of the situation and discuss remedial measures to bolster growth.
Modi will threadbare analyse the economic situation with Jaitley and secretaries of the finance ministry and explore options to stimulate the economy, official sources said.
The meeting comes days after government data showed GDP growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal slumping to a three-year low of 5.7%, from 7.9% in April- June of 2016 and 6.1% of January-March.
GDP growth has declined steadily for six straight quarters and the Economic Survey-II predicts that the economy may not be able to achieve the targeted growth rate of 7.5% owing to deflationary pressures.
Exports are facing strong headwinds and the industrial growth is the lowest in five years.
The current account deficit (CAD) in the April-June quarter has risen to 2.4% of GDP, or USD 14.3 billion, mainly on account of increased trade gap.
CAD, the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, was 0.1% (USD 0.4 billion) in the June quarter of last fiscal.
The figure compares with 0.6% (USD 3.4 billion) for January-March 2017.
The teething troubles with the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), after-effects of demonetisation and the fiscal space available is likely to figure during the meeting.
Till date, direct and indirect tax collections as well as projections for the year may be presented to the prime minister.
Disinvestment proceeds may also be put before Modi to give a fuller picture of government finances.
Inflationary pressures, along with reasons for the lacklustre manufacturing growth of 1.2% in July, may also come up for discussion, they said, adding that the meeting may also take stock of spread of monsoon and its impact on agricultural economy.
Both wholesale and retail inflation rose in August.
With demonetisation said to have dealt a blow to blackmoney, steps being taken to prevent its generation may also be discussed at the meeting.
Sources said the interaction may focus broadly on what ails the economy and the fiscal space available with the government.Steps to boost economic growth, create jobs and reviving private investment may be part of the discussion, they said.
The government is concerned at the stuttering growth despite a benign macroeconomic environment with easy money flowing in, global growth reviving, government revenues looking solid, deep foreign exchange reserves, reasonable oil prices and a decent monsoon keeping food prices in check.
Increasing government spending, particularly on infrastructure, combined with quickly fixing the problems with GST may feature in tomorrow’s deliberations.
Chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian had last week briefed the Prime Minister on macro-economic situation.
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