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PM Modi to begin West Asia trip with historic Palestine visit

SNS | New Delhi |

Focusing on strengthening energy and security cooperation along with counter-terrorism efforts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin his West Asia tour on Saturday with the first pit-stop in Ramallah, making him the first Indian PM to visit Palestine.

Modi will be taking a chopper ride to Ramallah from Amman, Jordan. The prime minister reached Jordan on Friday evening and met King Abdullah II.

As per the schedule, Modi will hold talks with the Palestinian leadership followed by the signing of a number of agreements.

This will be the fourth meeting between Modi and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and comes after the latter’s visit to India last year.

India had 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.

The visit will also de-hyphenate Israel and Palestine after Modi’s standalone visit to Israel in July last year.

Modi will reach Abu Dhabi in the UAE, which is home to a huge Indian diaspora, on February 10 evening.

Modi will hold talks with the Crown Prince following which several agreements will be signed. On February 11, he will meet members of the Indian community and lay the foundation stone of a temple via video link.

From Abu Dhabi, Modi will proceed to Dubai where he will deliver the keynote address at the Sixth World Government Summit.

India-UAE ties were elevated to that of a Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership during Modi’s visit in 2015.

The UAE is also the first partner of India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and invested $1 billion as the anchor investor.

From Dubai, Modi will reach Muscat on February 11 in what will be the first prime ministerial to that Gulf nation in 10 years since the visit of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008.

Modi will hold talks with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said and also meet a group of Omani CEOs.