The first Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Ramallah

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

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.

5 government-to-government MoUs between India and UAE have been signed in the presence of PM Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan after the delegation level talks, reports ANI.

Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said Modi and Abbas are to sign cooperation agreements worth $50 million.

On Saturday, Modi will leave for Palestine where he is scheduled to hold discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirm India's support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine.

"Well even Jordan and Egypt have full diplomatic relations with Israel so why can't India have", said Ayman, a university student. He underlined India's support for a sovereign and independent Palestine and hoped for return of peace in the region.

Addressing BJP MPs in the morning, Mr Modi asked them to take welfare schemes announced in the Budget to the masses, saying that popularising them would lead to the party winning in the polls, according to leaders present at the meeting.

"India has a strong influence and very good relations in the worldwide community", Jaradat said, "We will use the Indian Prime Minister's visit to continue working for global sponsorship of the peace process", he added.

The Prime Minister will onSunday visit Wahat Al Karama, the UAE martyr's war memorial in AbuDhabi.

The Grand Collar is Highest order given to foreign dignitaries - Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank.

This time Modi skipped Israel in a clear message that India is de-hyphenating its ties with Israel and Palestine.

But he also stressed that he didn't think one vote affected the general trend of India-Israel relations, which he said was moving forward on many fronts.

The Indian were traditionally very close to the Palestinians but in recent years have developed very close ties to Israel as seen in the visit of Modi to Israel last year and Netanyahu's visit to India in January. So then why isn't Nehru the first Indian PM to visit Palestine? After arriving in Palestine, PM Modi was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at Al-Muqata'a, compound of the presidential headquarters in Palestine's Ramallah.

During his maiden visit to Israel previous year, Modi did not travel to Ramallah.