Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Indian PM embarks on Mideast tour, to engage in "temple diplomacy"

Indian PM embarks on Mideast tour, to engage in

However, Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Ramallah ever since India became one of the first countries to recognise the State of Palestine in 1988.

Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine, is reaching Ramallah amid heightened tensions in the region after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The UAE and India are expected to sign various agreements and a memoranda of understanding, reported Gulf News.

Three agreements in the education sector worth $5 million and for procurement of equipment and machinery for the National Printing Press in Ramallah were also signed.

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Meanwhile, the UAE's iconic buildings like the the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame, Adnoc bulding and the Emirates Palace were lit up in colours of India's flag ahead of Modi's visit to the country.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday asked visiting Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi to help mediate a deal with Israel as he continued to seek an alternative to the U.S. as the main peace broker.

Abbas has sought global support for replacing the U.S. as sole Mideast mediator after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinian leader, while visiting New Delhi in May 2017, expressed desire that India play important role in influencing Israelis and other stake holders for peaceful resolution of the crisis. Modi then toured the Arafat museum, which is also part of the compound, before holding talks with Abbas.

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The prime minister also said that India is helping in the construction of an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine.

"We warmly welcome our state guest and valued friend, the Indian Prime Minister H.E.@narendramodi to the UAE".

Abbas conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine order on Modi. And in Oman Modi is scheduled to pay a visit to a 200-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In Palestine he will lay a wreath at the Yasser Arafat memorial, said officials in India's External Affairs Ministry.

Modi met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday. India has chose to de-hyphenate its policies to Israel and Palestine. Modi and Netanyahu also made sure to emphasize their warm personal friendship.

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Branding the reception at Abu Dhabi an "exceptional honour", Gokhale said, "The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi himself and the members of the royal family were present at the airport to receive Prime Minister Modi".

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