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Prime Minister’s Tour of Arab Countries includes Historic Visit to Palestine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four nation tour of Arab countries was the visit to an extended maritime neighbourhood and the key priority in external relations in terms of engagement with the Gulf countries. This was his 5th visit to the Gulf and the West Asian region since 2015. PM arrived at Amman on the 9th of February 2018 and this visit to Jordan was the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 30 years since Rajeev Gandhi made a visit in 1988. He then flew on the 10th to Palestine, escorted by Israeli and Royal Jordanian choppers to Ramallah. Modi arrived Abu Dhabi on the 10th itself on his two days’, second visit to the United Arab Emirates, his first was in August 2015. On the last day PM arrived in Muscat on the 11th where he attended a special dinner hosted by the Sultan Sayyid Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman.

Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the State of Palestine on the 10th of February, 2018 and this visit to Palestine was a historic visit in every sense. Prime Minister was very warmly received by President Mahmoud Abbas and his government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on the 10th of February, 2018 conferred the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’, the highest civilian award that the State of Palestine gives, by President Mahmoud Abbas, recognising his key contribution to promote relations between India and Palestine. The talks with President Abbas were very fruitful. They spoke about a number of issues that include the peace process, latest developments in that regard and the Prime Minister assured President Mahmoud Abbas that India stood by Palestine and that India was ready to assist in whatever way it could in the development of Palestine, in building up Palestine and he spoke the need for optimism and hope for the Palestinian people.

  • During the term of this government the President of India has made first ever visit to Palestine in 2015.
  • President Mahmoud Abbas made an official visit to India in May 2017.
  • The three visits taken together reflect the government of India’s commitment to the cause of Palestine.
  • PM paid his respects at the memorial of the Mausoleum of the late President Yasser Arafat and toured the museum.
  • Six MoUs with cumulative value of approximately $40 million on infrastructure, national security and defence were signed.

Palestinian has thanked India for on-going projects that include the Technology Park which is in the process of being built. India also earlier supported the construction of a Diplomatic Academy; and this time too especially new projects that include a Specialty 100 bed hospital that India would be building in Palestine and a Women’s Empowerment Centre where women from various parts of Palestine can come and learn skills. India is also constructing or renovating some schools and going to supply machinery to the national printing press of Palestine.

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