Wednesday, 21 February, 2018

India's improved ties with Israel could benefit Palestine, says expert

Donald Trump India's improved ties with Israel could benefit Palestine, says expert
Glenn Montgomery | 10 February, 2018, 09:42

In Ramallah, bilateral issues and the Israeli-Palestine peace process will be discussed by Mr. Modi and Mr. Abbas, Palestinian officials in Ramallah said.

"We have de-hyphenated our relations with Palestine and Israel and now we see them both as mutually independent and exclusive and as part of this policy the prime minister is undertaking this visit", B. Bala Bhaskar, a joint secretary in the Indian foreign ministry, said.

# After that, PM Modi will hold meetings with ministers in Ramallah and exchange several agreements.

Modi had visited Israel a year ago in July in a standalone visit that had led to many analysts questioning the future of the Indo-Palestine ties. In July previous year, Mr. Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.

Narendra Modi started his three-nation tour on Friday. "In a gracious and personal gesture, the King invited Prime Minister Modi to his residence for the meeting", he said.

When asked about India's growing engagement with Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas himself emphaticlally asserted that "any state has the right to establish relations with other countries".

The amount of money sent back annually by the Indian diaspora in the region is around $35 billion, which sustains millions of families back in India, he further said.

"India has recognised the State of Palestine in 1988, and we can not forget the last Indian vote in favour of Palestine's rights in Jerusalem in the United Nations General Assembly, and all the political stands that India has taken to support the Palestinian rights in the global arena", President Abbas said referring to India's vote at the UN. Jordan's Indian community representatives also greeted him.

The prime minister told the Dubai-based news organisation that "energy and infrastructural investments" will remain the key focus of his visit and his interactions with the UAE leadership.

One of the organisers of the Night Marathon said they were expecting around 1.50 lakh people to take part in the event, but with the PM coming, the number could go even higher. New Delhi is funding an India-Palestinian technology park in Ramallah to help develop IT skills and generate employment.

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