Indian PM arrives in Ramallah for talks with Abbas

Indian PM arrives in Ramallah for talks with Abbas

Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Ramallah, arrived here on the first leg of his three-nation tour.

After his Palestine visit, Modi will reach Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE which is home to a huge Indian diaspora, on Saturday evening - his second visit after August 2015.

The two parties signed agreements worth $41.35 million to fund multiple projects in Palestine.

For this reason, many have accused India of hypocrisy for heavily supporting Israel while falsely claiming to back Palestinian statehood.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday suggested that India could be part of any future peace process on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that Palestinians count on India to play a role in peacemaking.

He further said that Palestine relies on India's role and great standing on the worldwide stage to facilitate the peace process with Israel.

Abbas said the formation of a multi-lateral mechanism that is produced by an worldwide peace convention is the most ideal way to broker negotiations with Israel, which is India's strategic partner and among its top arms suppliers.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday arrived in in Abudhabi on a two-day visit during which he will hold talks with top leadership of the Gulf nation and witness signing of almost a dozen agreements to bolster political and economic ties. Upon his arrival, he has already become the first Indian Prime Minister to travel to Palestine.

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The hype around India's strategic ties with Israel and the bonhomie around Modi's visit to Israel and its Prime Minister's visit to India also do not seem to perturb the Palestinians.

Describing the Gulf and West Asia region was a "key priority" in India's external engagement, Modi ahead of his visit said his trip was aimed at strengthening ties with the region.

Mr Modi also the Union Budget was positive for farmers and the poor while citing the announcement of a health insurance scheme for 10 crore families, according to Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying a wreath at the mausoleum of late President Yasser Arafat at Ramallah. "India will always support Palestines development journey", Modi said.

Modi will then hold official talks with the Palestinian leadership and hold a joint press conference with Mahmoud Abbas.

In Oman and United Arab Emirates, Modi will meet members of the Indian diaspora.

Modi came to Ramallah via Jordan as New Delhi sought to emphasize that it wants its relations with Palestinians and Israel to be mutually independent and exclusive, or in the words of India's foreign ministry officials, "de-hyphenated".

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