Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a historic visit to Palestine, the first ever visit by any Indian Prime Minister, Ministry of External Affairs announced here on Monday.
MEA officials, at a press conference, said the Prime Minister will be visiting Ramallah on February 10. He will also be visiting United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman from February 10 to 12.
He will reach UAE in the late evening of February 10. Mr. Modi will be visiting UAE at the invitation of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the MEA said.
While the visit to Palestine will be the first by an Indian Prime Minister, it will be Mr. Modi’s second visit to UAE and the first to Oman. The MEA said that Mr. Modi will hold discussions on matters of mutual interest with the leaders of these nations.
During his visit, he will hold a meeting with the Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas. In July last year, Mr. Modi had visited Israel at the invitation of his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. He had not visited Palestine at that time. The Israeli Prime Minister visited India last month. In Palestine, Mr Modi will visit the Yasser Arafat Museum before beginning formal talks, MEA official said. Mr Modi will also address a joint press conference with Palestine President Abbas. He will also attend a banquet lunch and then embark on his visit to UAE. Palestine and India had agreed to deepen engagement in sectors like health, IT, tourism, youth affairs and sports.
Describing the Palestine visit as “significant’’, MEA officials said that it indicates that India has decided to de-hyphenate ties with Israel. It would also lay the ground work for India’s participation in nation-building projects in Palestine for developing infrastructure there.
Also, Prime Minister Modi will be addressing the Sixth World Government Summit to be held in Dubai, at which India has been extended the ‘Guest of Honour’ status. He will also meet the Indian community in UAE and Oman respectively.