Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has tested positive for COVID-19, days ahead of his scheduled visit to India, media reports citing his office said on Monday.

The development comes when Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is set to begn his visit India from April 3, his first such visit after assuming office last year.

Naftali is undertaking the visit on the occasion of the commemoration of 30 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel.

Bennett is paying the visit to India from April 3-5 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in an official statement.
Both the leaders had earlier met on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November last year. They also had a telephonic conversation on August 16, 2021.

“The visit by Bennett would be his first to India in his capacity as Prime Minister. This visit would take place on the occasion of the commemoration of 30 years of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel and 75 years of India’s Independence,” MEA said in a statement.

India and Israel elevated their bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel in July 2017.

Since then, the two countries have continued to deepen their strategic partnership, with a focus on innovation and research, read the statement.

“The visit by the Prime Minister of Israel is expected to further strengthen our excellent bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, including agriculture, water, trade, education and science and technology,” the statement added.

Israel is experiencing a modest increase in COVID-19 infections as an omicron spreads there as in many other countries. Bennett and nearly half of Israel have received three vaccinations, according to the Washington Post. (ANI)