PM Modi embarks on three-nation visit to Palestine, Oman and UAE

Joy Montgomery
February 10, 2018

"The Palestinian presidency welcomed the historic and important visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the city of Ramallah on Saturday, the first of an Indian prime minister to Palestine", according to the official Palestinian news and information agency "WAFA".

Describing India as a "very respected country in the global arena", the 82-year-old Palestinian President said that India can have a possible role in creating a multilateral forum of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to reach a final agreement.

"We believe in the importance of a possible Indian role... to reach a final agreement based on global consensus and resolutions, in which India and other countries can be part of", President Abbas said. The two leaders had discussed the Palestine issue then.

During the meeting, Modi told the King that he is looking forward to his visit to India in February end.

Meanwhile, the highpoint of Modi's current Middle East tour would be his "temple diplomacy". PM Modi is on his four-day visit to deepen multifaceted ties with gulf countries from Feb 9-12.

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When asked about India's growing engagement with Israel, an unperturbed Abbas said that "any state has the right to establish relations with other countries".

Stating that the UAE is a key source of energy, Kumar said the relationship has gone beyond buyer-seller to that of energy security cooperation - the UAE was the first contributor to the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an emergency fuel store. This was followed by the visit of President Abbas to New Delhi in May 2017.

Tomorrow, Modi will leave for Palestine where he is scheduled to hold discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirm India's support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine.

The fourth aspect, according to Bhaskar, is India's continuous support to the Palestinian cause at various worldwide fora.

Modi's Palestine visit comes just six months after his ground-breaking visit to Israel, and just weeks after he hosted his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in Delhi.

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