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PM Modi arrives in Palestine, lays wreath at Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum

IANS | Ramallah |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Yaser Arafat, the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the first President of the Palestinian Authority, soon after arriving here.

The mausoleum complex consists of Arafat’s burial chamber, a prayer pavilion and landscaped gardens — all situated in a 6,550 sq. m. site.

Palestine Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah received Modi as the latter alighted from a chopper that brought him to Ramallah from Amman, Jordan. This is the first ever prime ministerial visit from India to Palestine.

Modi will hold talks with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas following which a number of agreements are going to be signed.

This will be the fourth meeting between Modi and Abbas after those on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2015, at the Paris climate summit later that year and at the Palestinian President’s visit to India last year.

The visit will reaffirm India’s foreign policy position that its relationship with one country is independent of its ties with a third country and will de-hyphenate Israel and Palestine after Modi’s standalone visit to Israel in July last year.

Palestine is the first leg of Modi’s three-nation tour of West Asia that will also see him going to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.