Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Modi 1st PM to visit Palestine, hopes to lead stronger bilateral cooperation

President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas presents to Prime Minister Narendra Modi a portrait with his name inscribed in Arabic in New Delhi Modi Travels to West Asia, Will Make Historic Prime Ministerial Visit to Palestine
Ellis Copeland | 11 February, 2018, 03:21

"I have assured President Abbas that India is committed to the Palestinian people's interests", Modi said in a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

India has in the past been training Palestinian diplomats but Modi announced that New Delhi would now also be cooperating in setting up an institute of diplomacy in Ramallah which he believes "will emerge as a world class centre for training of young diplomats".

Modi met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday.

Saying that Palestinians were ready to engage in dialogue, Abbas said he was counting on India's support for negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

"The Palestinian people have continuously demonstrated a strong will in the face of challenges and crisis".

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday concluded his historic Palestine visit, the first by any Indian Prime Minister.

Before reaching Palestine, the PM visited Jordan on Friday and will conclude his trip after visiting the United Arab Emirates and Oman. India will also provide young Palestinians with vocational training.

The Palestinians are trying to shore up worldwide support for a process that will see multiple brokers replacing Washington as the sponsors of a future peace deal.

In December past year, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a controversial decision which angered the Palestinians, sparked protests in the Middle East and raised concern that it could further destabilise the already volatile region. "I look forward to meeting him in Amman on 9th February", the Indian PM said on Feb. 8. "India will always support Palestine's development journey", Modi tweeted. India's parliamentary opposition had then raised hue and cry over his decision to not visit Palestine during the previous state-tour in the region. PM will lay the foundation stone of the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi during his visit.

Soon after his arrival, Prime Minister Modi left for the presidential palace for a meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohammed Bin Zayed. He is the first prime minister of India to visit Palestine separately. It will also be Modi's second visit to the UAE, the first one being in August 2015. The Grand Collar is the highest Palestinian order given to foreign dignitaries - kings, heads of state/government and persons of similar rank.

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