PM Narendra Modi meets President Abbas Mahmoud on historic visit to Palestine

Sunday, 11 Feb, 2018

On Saturday, Modi will leave for Palestine where he is scheduled to hold discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirm India's support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Jordan's King Abdullah II here and said he had "wonderful" meeting that would further boost India-Jordan ties.

Follow the Indian PM's two-day state visit in the UAE with "live" updates.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Ramallah in Palestine on 10 February, the ministry of external affairs said on Monday.

Modi will also meet with Arab CEOs in Dubai before he leaves for Oman from Dubai to conclude the visit to the region.

"We believe a permanent solution to Palestine is possible through dialogue".

He said the formation of a multi-lateral mechanism that is produced by an worldwide peace convention is the most ideal way to broker such negotiations with Israel.

The visit, which came weeks after Modi hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was seen as an Indian effort to balance its strengthening ties with the Jewish state.

He also rejected recent accusations by Israel and the USA claiming the Palestinians have abandoned the peace process over the PA's rejection of the Americans as peace mediators. "Such a peace deal will have a positive impact on world security and peace", he said. Talking about the people of Palestine, Modi said that they have shown exemplary courage in extremely tough times and despite an unstable environment.

PM Modi had skipped Palestine when he had visited Israel in July 2017 to signal his Government's decision to treat both nations as "mutually independent and exclusive".

During his maiden visit to Israel previous year, Modi did not travel to Ramallah. "Indian and Palestine enjoy strong historic relations", he said during the joint press conference. Here Palestine President Mahmood Abbas welcomed him by breaking the protocol.

The Palestinian leader said he was counting on India's support for multi-country sponsorship of future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which could replace the United States as the sole mediator to the conflict. His contribution to Palestine is historical.

This would not have gone down well in Israel, where Arafat is reviled as a long-time terrorist and the leader who led the Palestinians into the bloody Second Intifada.

In Ramallah, that serves as the de facto capital of Palestine, Modi headed straight to the memorial of former President Yasser Arafat where he laid a wreath.