Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Modi on Palestine, West Asia tour to balance growing ties with Israel

Modi on Palestine, West Asia tour to balance growing ties with Israel

After holding talks with Abbas, Modi said he had assured the Palestinian leader that "India is bound by a promise to take care of Palestinian people's interests".

Half-a-dozen agreements were signed at their meeting for setting up a super-speciality hospital in Bethlehem, a joint centre for women's empowerment, a printing press and a couple of schools.

Modi held discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas over a working lunch. "His visit reflects our longstanding historical ties and is testament to our friendly bilateral relationship", Mohammed Bin Zayed tweeted separately.

People of Palestine have continuously shown exemplary courage in extremely tough times, in spite of the fact that there was an unstable environment.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas at Ramallah.

He also rejected recent accusations by Israel and the United States claiming the Palestinians have abandoned the peace process over the PA's rejection of the Americans as peace mediators. "The formation of a multilateral mechanism that stems or is produced by worldwide peace convention is the most ideal way to broker such negotiations", he said.

Abbas has rejected Washington's long-standing mediation role in the wake of President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

In Palestine, Modi will visit the Yasser Arafat Museum before formal talks, MEA official B Bala Bhaskar said. His standalone visit to Israel had led to many analysts questioning the future of the Indo-Palestine ties.

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Modi flew in a Jordanian army helicopter straight from Amman to Ramallah, where he was received by his Palestinian counterpart Rami Hamdallah.

The Indian premier noted that his visit will contribute to the development of Palestine in the fields of health and education.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-nation tour, has reached Palestine on Saturday. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) and DP World, among others, have brought major investments to India.

Modi also announced to enhance the number of scholarships being provided to Palestinians in the exchange programme from 50 to 100.

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President Abbas conferred the Grand Collar, highest order of honour given to foreign dignitaries, on Modi after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting between the two leaders.

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