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  India   All India  10 Feb 2018  Modi 1st PM to visit Palestine, hopes to lead stronger bilateral ties

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

Published : Feb 10, 2018, 3:18 pm IST
Updated : Feb 10, 2018, 4:51 pm IST

PM Modi is likely to announce the set-up of a super-speciality hospital in Palestine's Ramallah.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Palestine. (Photo: Twitter | @narendramodi)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Palestine. (Photo: Twitter | @narendramodi)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-nation tour, has reached Palestine on Saturday. Narendra Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to step on Palestinian soil and will spend around three hours in Palestine on this visit that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has described as "significant".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had skipped Palestine when he had visited Israel in July 2017 to signal his government's decision to treat New Delhi's relations with the two countries as "mutually independent and exclusive".

In Ramallah, that serves as the de facto capital of Palestine, Modi headed straight to the memorial of former President Yasser Arafat where he laid a wreath. He also took a tour of the Yasser Arafat Mausoleum.

(Photo: ANI | Twitter)(Photo: ANI | Twitter)

Soon after landing at Palestine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "This is a historic visit that will lead to stronger bilateral cooperation."

Modi held discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas over a working lunch. The two leaders also exchanged agreements.

In a recognition of PM Modi’s contribution to relations between India and Palestine, President Abbas conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on him after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting. The Grand Collar is Highest order given to foreign dignitaries.

(Photo: ANI | Twitter)(Photo: ANI | Twitter)

Commendation of Grand Collar read, "In recognition of his wise leadership, lofty national and international stature, in appreciation of his efforts to promote historic relations between Palestine and India, in acknowledgement of his support to our people’s right to freedom so that peace prevails in region.”

PM Modi is likely to announce the set-up of a super-speciality hospital in Palestine's Ramallah on Saturday.

India is the first non-Arab nation to recognise Palestine and maintains diplomatic relationships with them. "We have de-hyphenated our relations with Palestine and Israel and now we see them both as mutually independent and exclusive and as part of this policy the Prime Minister is undertaking this visit," B Bala Bhaskar, joint secretary in the foreign ministry, said.

On Friday, Modi reached Jordan's capital Amman where he met King Abdullah II. He took a chopper ride to Palestine's Ramallah.

(Photo: Twitter | @narendramodi)(Photo: Twitter | @narendramodi)

"Had a wonderful meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. Our discussions today will give great strength to India-Jordan bilateral relations," Modi tweeted on Friday.

In the UAE, Modi will meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. He is also expected to speak at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where India is the guest country.

Modi will visit Oman and will hold talks with the Sultan of Oman and other key leaders. He would also interact with leading businesspersons of Oman on developing stronger economic and business links with India.

Tags: narendra modi, palestine, mahmoud abbas, yasser arafat
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi