Abbas asks India to help mediate peace talks with Israel

Modi Travels to West Asia, Will Make Historic Prime Ministerial Visit to Palestine

PM Modi in Palestine LIVE Updates: Modi to meet Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas today

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas at Ramallah.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said support for the Palestinian cause is a continuing thread in India's foreign policy and hoped for an early realisation of a "sovereign, independent Palestine living in a peaceful environment".

President Mahmoud Abbas bestowed the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on Modi after the conclusion of their bilateral meeting here.

This is Modi's second visit to the UAE and is indicative of the new momentum in the UAE-India ties and the bolstering of cooperation between the two countries in areas like defence, finance, investments, anti-terrorism, space technology, infrastructure and skills development.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December, Abbas has been seeking worldwide support for countries from Europe and the Middle East to be included as mediators between Palestine and Israel - efforts that the U.S. has led.

"The relations between India and Palestine have stood the test of time", he said. Modi assured President Abbas that India is committed to the Palestinian people's interests.

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PM Modi thanked Palestine for giving him this Grand Collar of the State and stated this as an honour for all Indians and a symbol of Palestine's friendship.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also toured the Yasser Arafat Museum which contains articles associated with the life of the great leader of Palestine.

The visit was a delicate balance act for Modi after his strong embracement of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his visit, again a first by an Indian PM, to the country a year ago. The two sides signed agreements worth Dollars 50 million.

Saying that Palestinians were ready to engage in dialogue, Abbas said he was counting on India's support for negotiations between Israel and Palestine. The agreement includes building a specialty hospital, three schools and the construction of a center for empowering women. The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as their future capital.

Abbas said "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".

India was among more than 120 countries to vote in favour of a resolution in December calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

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