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11 February 2018, 05:14 | Myrtle Vega
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his first official visit to Palestine and his fifth to the Gulf and West Asian region since 2015
Modi on Saturday held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as part of a Middle East tour, Agence France Presse reported from Ramallah.
President Mahmoud Abbas Saturday thanked India for its support for the Palestinian cause, saying the Palestinians count on India to play a role in peacemaking because it is a world power of great stature and weight to contribute to the achievement of a just and desired peace in the region.
He was earlier conferred The Grand Collar of the State of Palestine, the highest order given to foreign dignitaries.
After a bilateral meeting, Abbas gave the Indian leader a medal "in recognition of his wise leadership" and "efforts to promote the historic relations between the State of Palestine and the Republic of India". "India will always support Palestine's development journey".
Modi said India hoped for peace and stability in Palestine, and that only dialogue could make a permanent solution possible.
Modi's tour will also take him to Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Describing the Gulf and West Asian region was a "key priority" in India's external engagement, Modi ahead of his visit said, "I look forward to strengthening India's growing and important ties with West Asia and the Gulf region through the visit". He was accompanied by his Palestinian counterpart Hamdallah.
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The fourth agreement was signed to establish a heritage center to empower Palestinian women.
The two countries signed four agreements worth 41 million US dollars in various sectors, including education, health, media and women economic empowerment. Trump's pivot upset Palestinians who seek the city's Israeli-annexed eastern sector as a capital.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embracing Jordan King Abdullah II on his arrival.
Even as Modi dramatically tightens India's ties with Israel, New Delhi has continued its longstanding support of the Palestinians in global forums. Abbas said the formation of a multi-lateral mechanism that is produced by an worldwide peace convention is the most ideal way to broker negotiations with Israel, which is India's strategic partner and among its top arms suppliers.
India's refusal to support the USA moves to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital disappointed Israel. "We rely on India's role as an worldwide force of great standing through its historical role in the Non-aligned Movement and its increasing, growing power in strategic and economic levels, in a way that is conducive to a just and desired peace", said Abbas in a joint press statement.
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