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Indian PM lays wreath on arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat's grave

11 February 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting discussed the full range of India- Palestine ties following which the two sides signed six agreements worth around Dollars 50 million that includes setting up of a USD 30 million super speciality hospital in Beit Sahur. Modi will be the first-ever prime minister to visit Palestine.

India has consistently voted in favour of resolutions supporting the Palestinian cause at global forums, an issue that has bothered strategic partner Israel. He will also reiterate New Delhi's position that the peace-process should result in a "sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel".

While providing details on the Palestine visit B Bala Bhaskar, Joint Secretary in the Foreign Ministry said, "we have de-hyphenated our relations with Palestine and Israel".

Modi and his entourage flew in by helicopter from Jordan, landing near Abbas's Ramallah headquarters, an AFP reporter said.

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The meeting also addressed developments related to the Palestinian cause, and Jordan's role in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in line with the Hashemite Custodianship.

Modi's tour will also take him to Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Modi on his part stressed the age-old ties between Palestine and India since the days of Nehru.

Bhaskar said that Prime Minister would convey to the Palestine President that India had been steadfastly supporting the cause of Palestine at the United Nations and other worldwide forums and the prime minister's visit to Ramallah would reaffirm New Delhi's commitment to continue to do so.

Modi witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony which was live-streamed to the Dubai Opera House where the prime minister was interacting with the Indian community.

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Modi met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and together they visited the memorial of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, where the Indian PM paid his tribute.

One to keep a personal tab on the progress of the nation as well chart new territories, PM Modi has been the bulwark behind India's current ascendancy on the world stage. In UAE, the Indian PM will hold talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Over the past several months, Israel and India have upgraded ties, with their respective leaders visiting each others countries and inking cooperation agreements. Modi walked the diplomatic tightrope in that region - he did not talk of the two-state solution nor was there a joint statement.

"I have assured President Abbas that India is committed to the Palestinian people's interests".

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Addressing Indian community at Dubai Opera House, Modi said, "I thank the gulf countries which provided nearly 30 Lakh people from India a home like environment, away from home, here".

Indian PM lays wreath on arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat's grave