Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his “path-breaking” visit to Israel on Tuesday with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu extending an extraordinary welcome and asserting that “even sky is not the limit” in the cooperation between the two countries.

Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit the Jewish nation, was received at the Ben Gurion airport by Netanyahu who said in Hindi, “aapka swagat hai, mere dost” (welcome, my friend).

Describing Modi as “a great leader of India and a great world leader”, Netanyahu said, “we have been waiting for the last 70 years” for a visit by an Indian prime minister.

Embracing each other twice, the two prime ministers, who spoke briefly at the airport, vowed to give a push to the bilateral relationship in all aspects and jointly deal with the common threats like terrorism.

“We love India,” said the Israeli prime minister who rolled out a red carpet welcome to Modi and giving him an honour which is only accorded to a US President and the Pope.

Netanyahu’s entire cabinet was there to receive Modi, who was wearing a cream colour band gala suit, at the airport where the Indian prime minister was also accorded a Guard of Honour.

“I remember what you told me in our first meeting – when it comes to India and Israel relations, the sky is the limit. But now, prime minister, let me add even sky is not the limit. We are also cooperating in space,” Netanyahu told Modi.

Talking about the vast possibilities of cooperation between the two countries, he said, “We can do even more, even better together.”