On his first visit to Palestine and second visit to the United Arab Emirates, reinstating bilateral relations and advancing India’s diplomatic outreach remained the top agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On his West Asia tour to Jordan, Palestine, UAE and Oman, PM Modi was received by the state dignitaries in UAE where he arrived on Saturday evening after his lay-over in Jordan and a day in Palestine.
PM Modi’s first visit to Palestine underlined India’s independent relations with the two warring states in the region. While his transit from Jordan to Palestine, PM Modi was chauffered in Royal Jordanian helecopters which were accompanied by Israel choppers as well.
In a special recognition of the PM Modi’s contribution to relations between India and Palestine, President Abbas conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on him after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting.
Commenting on the Palestine-Israel conflict, President Abbas said, “We have said and will say we are ready to engage in negotiations. We rely on India’s role as an international force and its role in the non-alignment movement and in the international fora, in a way that is conducive to desired peace in our region.”
In UAE, PM Modi will have bilateral talks with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Saturday evening, followed by a signing ceremony of agreements and MoUs and a banquet hosted by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed in honour of Modi.
Modi is also expected to meet His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday in Dubai and might also visit the Wahat Al Karama, the UAE martyrs’ memorial in Abu Dhabi. He is also expected to interact with the Indian community at Dubai Opera and participate in a ground-breaking ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi through livestreaming.
Modi will also meet with Arab CEOs in Dubai before he leaves for Oman from Dubai to conclude the visit to the region. Modi’s first visit to the UAE had come in August 2015 which was the first official visit of an Indian PM to the UAE in 34 years after Indira Gandhi’s visit in 1981. UAE is one the few countries which have been visited twice by the PM in his first term and says a lot about the importance of relations between India and UAE. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed has also visited India twice in the same two-and-a-half years. Since the visits, bilateral investments between UAE and India have witnessed an increase. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) and DP World, among others, have brought major investments to India.