Burj Khalifa lights up with Indian Tricolour as PM Modi Visits

Modi Travels to West Asia, Will Make Historic Prime Ministerial Visit to Palestine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay a wreath at the memorial for the iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a close friend of India who headed the Palestine Liberation Organization and later the Palestinian National Authority till his death in 2004. While expressing that "support for Palestinian interests in our foreign policy has always been a priority" Modi said India hopes for Palestine to soon become a sovereign and independent country in a peaceful environment through dialogue.

Ties between the US and the PA hit a nadir following US President Donald Trump's December 6 declaration that the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, with Abbas declaring the US could no longer serve as an "honest broker" in peace talks.

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

Prime Minister Modi was conferred Saudi Arabia's highest civilian award the King Abdulaziz Sash when he visited the Kingdom in April 2016.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also toured the Yasser Arafat Museum which contains articles associated with the life of the great leader of Palestine.

The two countries signed four agreements worth 41 million US dollars in various sectors, including education, health, media and women economic empowerment.

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The Indian and Palestinian leaders were set to discuss issues including information technology, health and tourism during the brief visit, after which Modi will return to Jordan.

A second MoU was signed for construction of the India-Palestine centre for empowering women called "Turathi" at a cost of $5 million.

The Prime Minister reached Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Abbas said the formation of a multi-lateral mechanism that is produced by an global peace convention is the most ideal way to broker negotiations with Israel, which is India's strategic partner and among its top arms suppliers. "We rely on India's role as an worldwide voice of great standing and weigh through its historical role in the Non-Aligned Movement and in all global forum and its increasingly growing power on the strategic and economic levels, in a way that is conducive to just and desired peace in our region", Abbas said.

India's refusal to back United States moves to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital disappointed Tel Aviv but was consistent with its support for the Palestinians. India has chose to de-hyphenate its policies to Israel and Palestine.

"We want to see Palestine and Israel living in peace and security", Abbas added.

"Friendship between India and Palestine has stood the test of time".

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