PM Modi arrives in Jordan during his three-nation West Asia tour


PM Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine, is reaching Ramallah tomorrow amid heightened tensions in the region after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. India had voted in the UN General Assembly in December past year against US President Donald Trump's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who already met PM Modi in Delhi past year, has welcomed the Indian leader in what he has described as "a significant" visit by a "grand guest". Modi will also meet the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and visit a painting exhibition by Ramesh Shukla, Suri said. India and Jordan enjoy friendly ties since diplomatic relations were established in 1950, Raveesh Kumar, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, said.

Describing India as a "very respected country in the global arena", the 82-year-old Palestinian President said that India can have a possible role in creating a multilateral forum of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to reach a final agreement.

The embattled president of the Indian Ocean nation has sent envoys to friendly nations such as China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to brief them on a political crisis that spurred the imposition of a state of emergency. Over at least five decades, New Delhi has consistently supported the Palestinian cause, recognising it as a state in 1988. Bhaskar said that since the historic visit of then President Pranab Mukherjee to Palestine in 2015, work on projects worth $30 million has commenced.

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Meanwhile, the highpoint of Modi's current Middle East tour would be his "temple diplomacy".

"India has recognised the State of Palestine in 1988, and we can not forget the last Indian vote in favour of Palestine's rights in Jerusalem in the United Nations General Assembly, and all the political stands that India has taken to support the Palestinian rights in the global arena", President Abbas said referring to India's vote at the UN.

The fourth aspect, according to Bhaskar, is India's continuous support to the Palestinian cause at various worldwide fora. The meeting will also discuss regional and worldwide situations of common concern, it said, adding the visit will also be an opportunity to thank India for its continued support for peace and the right of Palestinian people to freedom and independence. Modi's visit to Palestine comes less than a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's India trip. The city in the West Bank, which hosts the Palestinian Authority's presidential headquarters, also serves as its de facto capital. "They are also looking at ports, logistic centres and food parks". The Palestinian Presidency, in a pre-arrival welcome statement, has described the upcoming visit as "historic and significant".

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