India Abroad

PM Modi On A Historic Visit To Palestine, Honoured With The Grand Collar of the State

| February 10 , 2018 , 18:13 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a 4-Nation visit from February 9 to 12.

As per his schedule, PM arrived in the Palestine city of Ramallah on Saturday, where he began by laying a wreath on the memorial of the late Palestine Leader Yasser Arafat.

Before reaching Palestine, the PM visited Jordan on Friday and will conclude his trip after visiting the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Narendra Modi is the first India Prime Minister on an official visit to Palestine. Palestinian President Rami Mahmoud Abbas described Modi's visit as "significant."

Abbas conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine order on Modi. It was conferred as a mark of recognition of Modi’s contribution to the relationship between India and Palestine.

PM Modi thanked Palestine for giving him this Grand Collar of the State and stated this as an honour for all Indians and a symbol of Palestine's friendship.

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."

ALSO READ: Narendra Modi Will Be First Indian PM To Visit Israel, Palestine

PM has taken a short tour, accompanied by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, of the Yasser Arafat Museum located adjacent to the Mausoleum. 

As per the reports, the focus of the PM's visit would be to provide infrastructure and facilities that are not available to the people of Palestine. Some important agreements are also likely to be signed during the visit aimed to strengthen the bonds of friendship between both the nation.

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. Now we see them both as mutually independent and exclusive and as part of this policy the Prime Minister is undertaking this visit.”

ALSO READ: Palestine PM Calls On UN For International Protection

Prime Minister Modi's visit to Palestine comes a month after India hosted Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two countries signed 9 memorandums of understanding, including those on film cooperation, homoeopathy, cyber co-operation, and science and technology.

India has been continuously supporting the Palestinian cause at various international foram. New Delhi voted in the UN General Assembly in December last year against US President Donald Trump's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to arrive in the UAE on Saturday evening. PM will lay the foundation stone of the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi during his visit.

The UAE granted the temple project after India conveyed the demand of its nationals for a place of worship during Modi's 2015 visit to the country.