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11 February 2018, 01:52 | Darnell Patrick
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his first official visit to Palestine and his fifth to the Gulf and West Asian region since 2015
Prime Minister Modi will be accompanied by his Palestinian counterpart Rami Hamdallah. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi s second visit to UAE is an indication of the special importance we attach to the India- UAE relationship", India's Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri said.
Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine. New Delhi voted in the UN General Assembly in December a year ago against US President Donald Trump's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Modi is on a three-nation tour Jordon, Palestine and UAE starting Friday. If successful, the country's influence in West Asia would increase, enabling for further promotion of Indian interests in the conflict-prone region.
In Amman, PM Modi held "wonderful" meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II that would boost bilateral ties.
The prime minister's visit will begin from Palestine from tomorrow after transiting through Jordan, where he will meet King Abdullah later in the day.
Speaking on India's contribution to strengthen the bilateral ties, Modi said India is aiding the construction of an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi was accorded ceremonial guard of honour at Al-Muqata'a, the compound of the presidential headquarters in Palestine's Ramallah on his historic visit on Saturday. He also expressed honest thanks to Jordan for logistical support extended for smooth facilitation for his Palestine visit.
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Abbas welcomed Modi as a guest to the country and said that the Indian leadership has always stood for peace in Palestine.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday said he is ready to engage in negotiations with Israel but made it clear that East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine, as he held talks with visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi is the first Indian prime minister to make the list.
"I am looking forward to my discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirming our support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine", he said.
India is also "continuously participating in the Palestinian nation-building and capacity building, infrastructure".
"We believe in the importance of a possible Indian role to reach a final agreement based on worldwide consensus and resolutions, in which India and other countries can be part of", Abbas said, PTI reported.
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