A MONTH-AND-A-HALF before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Israel on July 5-6, India on Saturday announced the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to New Delhi on May 15-16 and reiterated its “political support” to the Palestinian cause. The Ministry of External Affairs said Abbas will hold extensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the visit, which will provide an opportunity for reviewing the entire gamut of bilateral relations, the West Asia peace process, and regional and international issues.
Several MoUs on cooperation in various areas are also expected to be signed during the visit, the ministry said. A delegation-level discussion between the visiting Palestinian President and Prime Minister Modi will be held on May 16.
“India and Palestine enjoy historically close and friendly ties. Apart from the political support to the Palestinian cause, India continues to support development projects in Palestine by extending technical and financial assistance,” the ministry said.
The statement assumes significance given that there have been commentaries on the increasing proximity between the Modi government and Israel, which may have a bearing on New Delhi’s relations with Palestine. In July, Modi will travel to Israel, the first Indian prime minister to do so.
During his visit to India, Abbas will visit the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Noida on May 15 to forge cooperation between Palestine-India Techno Park being built by India in Palestine and Indian IT industry.