Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Palestine has always taken a top spot in India's foreign policy in a historic visit to the country. This is the highest order given to a foreign dignitary.
"We count on India's role, as a world power with significant weight and status to contribute to achieving just and aspired peace in our region, due to its impact on world security and stability", the Palestinian president stated.
"In acknowledgment of his support to our people's right independence and freedom so that peace prevails in our region".
The Feb. 9-12 trip comes within a month of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India that saw the two countries hailing each other as a strategic partner despite New Delhi's long-standing support for the Palestinian cause.
In response, PM Modi thanked Palestine President Abbas for the Grand Collar of the state of Palestine conferred on him.
Almost a dozen agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) are expected to be signed between the two countries.
Modi will also meet with Arab CEOs in Dubai before he leaves for Oman from Dubai to conclude the visit to the region.
The Prime Minister will visit Wahat Al Karama, the UAE martyr's war memorial, on Sunday before travelling to Dubai where he will interact with the Indian community at an event at the Dubai Opera House and will see a ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The two nations also exchanged agreements on which India and Palestine will be working mutually for a better cooperation.
PM Modi will then speak at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where India is a guest of honour this year.
India's refusal to back USA moves to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital disappointed the Jewish state but was consistent with its support for the Palestinians.
The two-state solution envisions independent Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting side by side peacefully. This time Modi skipped Israel in a clear message that India is de-hyphenating its ties with Israel and Palestine. We had a wonderful meeting, during which we discussed the full range of India-Palestine ties.
The projects included the establishment of a multi-purpose hospital in Beit Sahour town, east of Bethlehem, in addition to three schools in Jenin, Tubas, and Abu Dis, near occupied Jerusalem, and to equip a printing press in Ramallah with all the necessary equipment. This was also the reflective of the friendship between India and Palestine. An agreement was also signed between ONGC and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on offshore oil concessions. Modi had first visited the UAE as prime minister in August, 2015.
After paying homage to Arafat, Modi took a short tour of the Arafat Museum located adjacent to the mausoleum.
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