India's Modi Set for "Non-Hyphenated' Visit to Ramallah"

Israel Mahmoud Abbas Israel-Palestine East Jerusalem Donald Trump world news Indian Express news

Abbas, who was speaking during a joint press conference with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi, said the Palestinians seek a two-state solution "based on the 1967 borders and global resolution (pertaining to the Israeli Arab conflict)".

Earlier, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had agreed to strengthen the partnership by working on a range of security issues, such as counter-terrorism, maritime security, and cybersecurity in a joint statement issued at the end of the Crown Prince's visit to India a year ago, when he presided as chief guest of the country's Republic Day parade.

As the prime minister will then be attending the community event at the Dubai Opera, stone-laying ceremony at the temple site in Abu Dhabi will be livestreamed at the Dubai event, Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News.

The two sides are building a India-Palestinian technology park in Ramallah, the Palestinians' seat of government, which will develop IT expertise and generate employment.

The Indian prime minister will hold discussions with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over a working lunch, NDTV reported.

Abbas has sought global support for replacing the United States as sole Mideast mediator after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. However, India has also pursued friendly relations with Israel, engaging in a massive arms trade worth $1 billion a year and accounting for almost half of Israel's weapons exports.

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.

Modi began the visit with Jordan, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 30 years.

The Indian Prime Minister would be skipping Israel during his tour of the Middle East in a clear message that New Delhi is de-hyphenating its ties with Israel and Palestine.

Abbas conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine order on Modi.

Archbishop of Catholic Church, Poulos Marcuzzo, and religious leaders of the Al-Aqsa mosque were also at the Muqata'a to greet Modi.

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.

Modi's visit to Palestine is being seen as an effort to balance warming ties with Israel as India turned to the Jewish state for high-end military equipment.

"His visit reflects our longstanding historical ties and is testament to our friendly bilateral relationship", Mohammed Bin Zayed tweeted separately.

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