Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday mourned the death of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and said his contribution to the promotion of India-Israel ties was lasting and would long be remembered.
In a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister said Sharon was the first Israeli prime minister to visit India in September 2003, and had taken bold steps for peace in the region.
The message reads: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the demise of Mr. Ariel Sharon.
“During his long career in public service, Sharon made extremely important contributions to the state of Israel. As prime minister, he took bold steps for peace in the region. We in India recall that he was the first-ever prime minister of Israel to visit India in September 2003. His lasting contribution to the promotion of our bilateral ties will be long remembered.
Sharon, 85, passed away Saturday after being comatose for eight years. He died at the Sheba Medical Centre in the city of Ramat Gan in Tel Aviv district of Israel.