Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas confers Palestine state's Grand Collar to PM Modi

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

The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine, Mr Modi was speaking after holding bilateral talks with President Mahmoud Abbas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas witnessed exchange of agreements between India and Palestine in Ramallah.

Abbas thanked Modi for India's support for various Palestinian projects, saying this will enhance bilateral relations and serve the Palestinian population.

Modi's visit to Palestine comes amid heightened tensions in the region after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "India will always support Palestine's development journey", he said.

"I have once again assured President Abbas that India is bound by a promise to take care of the Palestinian people's interests", Modi said following a meeting with the Palestinian leader.

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Abbas expressed hope that India, which he described as a "world power that has a big status and weight", would contribute to achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

Jawaharlal Nehru who visited the region by virtue of being India's first Prime Minister from 1947-1962.

The two sides signed six agreements worth almost $50 million in areas such as health, agriculture, information technology and education as Modi sought to emphasize New Delhi's commitment as a development partner for Palestinians.

But on this visit to Ramallah, Modi appeared eager to show that had not affected New Delhi's traditional support for the Palestinian cause.

He is the first Indian prime minister to visit both Israel and Palestine.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural day of the World Government Summit in Dubai today.

B Bala Bhaskar, a joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, said India has "de-hyphenated" its relations with Palestine and Israel. Ambassador Navdeep Suri also spoke of the soon to be signed an Agreement on Financial Intelligence to prevent money laundering.

Even as Modi dramatically tightens India's ties with Israel, New Delhi has continued its longstanding support of the Palestinians in global forums. The Palestinians see east as their future capital.

India's refusal to support the United States moves to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital disappointed Israel. "We rely on India's role as an global force and its role in the non-alignment movement and in the worldwide fora, in a way that is conducive to desired peace in our region". "The relations between India and Palestine have stood the test of time".

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