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PM Modi Arrives in UAE For His Second Visit to Gulf Country

11 February 2018, 03:22 | Taylor George

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his first official visit to Palestine and his fifth to the Gulf and West Asian region since 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his first official visit to Palestine and his fifth to the Gulf and West Asian region since 2015

In a significant gesture, President Mahmoud Abbas conferred Narendra Modi with Grand Collar Honour, which is Palestine's highest honour, in recognition of PM's wise leadership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a joint press conference with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday during his historic visit to the country.

India has in the past been training Palestinian diplomats but Modi announced that New Delhi would now also be cooperating in setting up an institute of diplomacy in Ramallah which he believes "will emerge as a world class centre for training of young diplomats". Some agreements are likely to be signed during Modi's three-hour visit.

"In recognition of his wise leadership and his lofty national and worldwide stature, and in appreciation of his efforts to promote the historic relations between between the State of Palestine and the Republic of India", the award commendation reads.

People of Palestine have continuously shown exemplary courage in extremely tough times, in spite of the fact that there was an unstable environment. India will always support Palestine's development journey.

With a multi-lateral mechanism, Abbas was referring to a framework that would apparently replace the US' long-standing monopoly as a mediator in the vexed Middle East peace talks.

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Since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December, Abbas has been seeking global support for countries from Europe and the Middle East to be included as mediators between Palestine and Israel - efforts that the U.S. has led.

But Indian officials said India continued to support the Palestinian cause and that Modi's visit is aimed at helping build up the Palestinians' capacity in the health, information technology and education areas. In December, India backed a United Nations resolution that opposed the USA decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

It was Jawaharlal Nehru who visited the region by virtue of being India's first Prime Minister from 1947-1962. After that he reached Ramallah of Palestine today.

On Sunday, the premier will be meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE, and the ruler of Dubai. From there Modi went to the adjacent Presidential Palace where a ceremonial guard of honour awaited him.

Earlier Saturday, he visited Palestine in what was the first ever prime ministerial visit from India there.



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