Prime Minister Narendra Modi created history this afternoon becoming first Indian premier to visit Palestine. After his brief stopover at Jordon, where he reached Friday, Modi arrived in Ramallah Saturday afternoon. India and Palestine are set to create a new milestone in bilateral relations as Prime Minister Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
In July last year, Modi visited Israel, the first Indian Prime Minister to do so. The visit affirmed strong ties between the two countries, reciprocated in Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit early last month with a strong business contingent.
Modi started his engagements laying a wreath at the memorial of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He was accompanied by his Palestinian counterpart, Rami Hamdallah.
The Mausoleum of Yasser Arafat was unveiled on November 10, 2007 and is located adjacent to the compound of Presidential Headquarters. After paying homage at the Mausoleum, PM Modi also took a short tour of the Yasser Arafat Museum located adjacent to the Mausoleum.
He will then be received by President Mahmoud Abbas before the ceremonial welcome in the compound of the Presidential Headquarters, also known as Muqataa.
PM Modi’s visit is likely to see a reiteration of India’s support to the Palestinian cause.
Officials said Modi would highlight New Delhi’s assistance to help build Palestinian capacity in the health, information technology, infrastructure and education sectors. India is funding an India-Palestinian technology park in Ramallah to help develop IT skills and generate employment.
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had visited India in May 2017 during which agreements were signed in different areas of capacity building.
(With inputs from Akhilesh Suman)