February 17, 2018

Indian PM makes historic visit to Palestine

11 February 2018, 05:14 | Kara Nash

PM Narendra Modi conferred Grand Collar of State of Palestine

Tonight, Burj Khalifa lights up to Indian flag every hour

Navdeep Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE, posted pictures on Twitter and said, "Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame & ADNOC headquarters are lit up in Indian flag colours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to UAE".

Modi's three-hour stop in Ramallah, the first by an Indian prime minister, was being seen as New Delhi's bid to balance its blossoming ties with Israel. Immediately after the bilateral discussions and the signing of the MoUs, Mr. Modi left for Amman from where he took a flight to the UAE.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December, Abbas has been seeking global support for countries from Europe and the Middle East to be included as mediators between Palestine and Israel - efforts that the U.S. has led. He underlined India's support for a sovereign and independent Palestine and hoped for return of peace in the region.

"I have assured President Abbas that India is committed to the Palestinian people's interests".

India's support for Palestine is "unbroken and unwavering".

She congratulated him on being honoured with the highest award.

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Modi made his first ever visit to Israel in July previous year, and Israeli Prime Minister paid back the visit last month.

The two countries are expected to sign as many 14 agreements and bilateral deals during the historic visit. Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine.

India's refusal to back U.S. moves to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital disappointed Tel Aviv but was consistent with its support for the Palestinians.

The Prime Minister reached Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Abbas said, "We have never rejected negotiations; we have been and are still ready for negotiations", adding that forming a multilateral worldwide mechanism of many countries is the best way to sponsor negotiations.

Three agreements in the education sector worth United States dollars 5 million, one MoU for procurement of equipment and machinery for the National Printing Press and one for construction of a centre for empowering women were also signed. This time Modi skipped Israel in a clear message that India is de-hyphenating its ties with Israel and Palestine. "We rely on India's role as an global force of great standing through its historical role in the Non-aligned Movement and its increasing, growing power in strategic and economic levels, in a way that is conducive to a just and desired peace", said Abbas in a joint press statement. India and Palestine enjoy time-tested and close friendship driven by former long-standing support to the Palestinian cause.

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