The Hush Post: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Ramallah for a historic visit to Palestine today. Modi happens to be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine. Notably, Modi, was escorted by Israel Air Force to Palestine. As part of the visit he will meet the President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas. In recognition of PM Modi’s contribution to bilateral relations between India and Palestine, President Abbas has conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on Modi the highest honour of the state.
Accepting India as a “very respected country in the international arena,” the president Abbas said that India can have a possible role in creating a multilateral forum of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to reach a final agreement. With this, for the first time in the history, India has become the third country after the US and Russia to being accepted by the two neighbouring nations, who see each other as enemies, as a possible bridge between Israel and Palestine.
PM Modi also paid tribute at Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum in Ramallah. This time Modi is not travelling to Israel and has said India is treating its relationship with Israel and Palestine separately. When Modi had travelled to Israel last time round, many had questioned the move and asked what is going to be the future of India-Palestine relations. It is pertinent to mention, India is aiding construction of Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine.
In another leg of the tour to the middle-east, Modi will also visit the capital of Jordon, Amman.