NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address to the people of diamond hub Surat that he's soon going to Israel on their behalf, reported Times of India.

Surat is a large diamond-trading hub and Israel is a world player in producing cut diamonds.

"I'm soon going to Israel, in fact I'm the first Prime Minister to go to Israel, and I'm going there on your behalf. You have trading relations with that country," said Modi, who was speaking after inaugurating a hospital in Surat.

PM Modi's upcoming visit to Israel in July is billed as historic. Modi is expected to visit Israel on his way back to India from the G20 summit in Hamburg in the second week of July.

The government believes a standalone visit to Israel would further underline the significance of India's special ties with the Jewish nation. This year, the two countries mark the 25th anniversary of full diplomatic relations.

It s being seen as a significant step in openly embracing a relationship that his predecessors fostered while avoiding public displays. And contrary to expectations that Modi will include Palestine in his itinerary too, like many ministers did in the past, he will be travelling only to Israel.