India hopes to see Palestine becomes sovereign soon: PM

Taking the occasion to hit out at the Manik Sarkar-led state government Prime Minister Modi said the people of the landlocked state have been deprived of their rights

Taking the occasion to hit out at the Manik Sarkar-led state government Prime Minister Modi said the people of the landlocked state have been deprived of their rights

During his visit to Palestine, Modi is expected to announce the setting up of a super-specialty hospital in Ramallah, the Palestinian capital, NDTV reported.

Before taking off from New Delhi, Modi said he was "looking forward to my discussions with President Abbas and reaffirming our support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine".

Modi met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday. "I am very grateful to His Majesty King Abdullah II for facilitating flight and access", Modi tweeted after landing here. Some appreciated India's support for the Palestinians at the United Nations despite all the publicity around the personal chemistry between Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu.

Modi was on Saturday conferred with the "Grand Collar of the State of Palestine" by President Mahmoud Abbas in recognition to his contribution to promote relations between India and Palestine.

As part of the Modi government's declared objective of "de-hyphenation" of ties with PA and Israel, the PM made it a point to travel to Ramallah from Jordan and the focus of the diplomatic exchange was Indian assistance in medical care, IT training and governance.

He also expressed hope that peace in the region would be achieved quickly through dialogue and understanding.

India was one of the earliest champions of the Palestinian cause but in recent years turned to Israel for high-tech military equipment and anti-terrorism cooperation. Abbas rejected the traditional USA role after President Donald Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.

Archbishop of Catholic Church, Poulos Marcuzzo, and religious leaders of the Al-Aqsa mosque were also at the Muqata'a to greet Modi.

The Indian leader will be laying the foundation stone for the temple from the Dubai Opera House via video conferencing.

Modi will also meet with Arab CEOs in Dubai before he leaves for Oman from Dubai to conclude the visit to the region.

"The growing ties between them could be positive, because now India has more leverage with Israel and can pressure it in our favor", he said.

Modi will also lay a wreath at the memorial for Yasser Arafat, a close friend of India who headed the Palestine Liberation Organization and later the Palestinian National Authority till his death in 2004.

Abbas accorded a red carpet welcome to Modi, the first Indian PM to make an official visit to Palestine. This visit includes a wide range of programmes which will have a positive impact on India-UAE ties.

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