On Monday the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake his first historic visit to Palestine.
“Modi will visit the Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah during his official visit to the West Bank this weekend”, stated the Indian Foreign Ministry.
The purpose of the “historic visit” is to demonstrate India’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and its commitment to “deepening ties with Palestine.”
India and Palestine are expected to sign 5-6 agreements after bilateral talks between Modi and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas. During his brief stay in Ramallah, the Modi will also inaugurate an IT Park.
Indian support includes favouring Palestinian causes at the United Nations, and joint projects including in security, healthcare, tourism, agriculture and culture, the official said.
“It will be a stand-along visit to Palestine. We have de-hyphenated our relationship with Palestine and Israel,’’ B Bala Bhaskar, Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry said while briefing the media about the PM’s visit to Palestine, UAE and Oman.
Modi will visit United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, from February 10 to 12.
“From Palestine, he will reach UAE late in the evening on February 10 on the invitation of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” the MEA said.
This will be the first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Palestine, and Prime Minister Modi’s second visit to UAE and the first to Oman respectively.
During the visit, the Prime Minister will hold discussions on matters of mutual interest with their leaders, apart from participating in other events.
Talking about the Modi’s visits to UAE and Oman, Mridul Kumar, Joint Secretary (Gulf) in the ministry said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi would reach Aby Dhabi (UAE) from Palestine late in the evening on 10 February. He will hold talks with the UAE leadership and address the Indian diaspora. The highlight of his visit to the UAE will be the laying of the foundation stone of a grand Hindu temple in the Islamic nation.
Also, Prime Minister Modi would be addressing the Sixth World Government Summit to be held in Dubai, at which India has been extended the ‘Guest of Honour’ status. He will also meet the Indian community in UAE and Oman respectively.