Fri, 12 Aug 2022

New Delhi [India], July 1 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated Yair Lapid for becoming the 14th Prime Minister of Israel.

"Warm wishes and heartiest congratulations to His Excellency @yairlapid for assuming the premiership of Israel. I look forward to continue furthering our strategic partnership as we celebrate 30 years of full diplomatic relations," tweeted PM Modi.

Yair Lapid officially became the 14th Prime Minister of Israel at the stroke of midnight between Thursday and Friday.

Lapid's term could be the short one as he takes over the caretaker government ahead of Israel's election which is scheduled to take place on November 1, The Times of Israel reported.

"We'll do the best we can for a Jewish, democratic state, good and strong and thriving, because that is the job, and it's bigger than all of us," Lapid said at a handover ceremony with the outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, PM Modi also thanked outgoing PM Bennett for being a true friend of India.

"Thank you His Excellency @naftalibennett for being a true friend of India. I cherish our fruitful interactions and wish you success in your new role," tweeted PM Modi.

US President Joe Biden also congratulated Lapid for becoming the new Prime Minister. Taking to Twitter, he said, "Congratulations to @YairLapid, Israel's new Prime Minister, and thank you to Alternate Prime Minister @NaftaliBennett for your friendship over the past year. ""I look forward to seeing you both in July to celebrate the unbreakable US-Israel partnership," Biden added.

Lapid is also scheduled to make a brief trip on July 5 to Paris, where he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, according to The Times of Israel.

On Sunday, Lapid is expected to convene the first weekly cabinet meeting of his premiership. Bennett is set to remain in the government as an alternate prime minister. He will also continue to hold responsibility for the country's Iran policy.

Bannett announced on Wednesday that he has no plans to participate in the next parliamentary elections.

"Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has informed members of the right-wing faction of his intention not to run in the next election. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will remain as an alternate prime minister," Sputnik quoted his office as saying.

This announcement comes as the Israeli Knesset is set to vote on a proposal to hold an early election. The Yamina party leader served as the prime minister for a year. (ANI)

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