Modi becomes first Indian PM to visit West Bank


The mausoleum complex consists of Arafat's burial chamber, a prayer pavilion and landscaped gardens - all situated in a 6,550 sq. m. site.

The Indian prime minister headed to the UAE after his West Bank visit.

The Indian prime minister flew to Ramallah from Jordan by helicopter on Saturday and laid a wreath at the grave of Mr Abbas's predecessor, Yasser Arafat, which is located in the Palestinian president's walled government compound. He said India remains "committed to Palestinian national rights", but stopped short of offering support for Mr Abbas' political agenda.

In Ramallah, Modi was recieved by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and later met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who he was expected to ask for Modi's help in finding a new mediator for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in place of the United States.

We hope for peace and stability in Palestine. They discussed the full range of India-Palestine ties following which the two sides signed six agreements worth around $50 million that includes setting up of a $30 million super speciality hospital in Beit Sahur.

The two-state solution envisions independent Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting side by side peacefully.

With a multi-lateral mechanism, Abbas was referring to a framework that would apparently replace the US' long-standing monopoly as a mediator in the vexed Middle East peace talks. While his transit from Jordan to Palestine, PM Modi was chauffered in Royal Jordanian helecopters which were accompanied by Israel choppers as well.

While briefing reporters on the planned highlights of Modi s visit tomorrow, Kumar recalled the history of the martyrs memorial, which houses 31 commemorative panels that signify the solidarity between the UAE s people and leadership. India's ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri said that Modi will attend a painting exhibition by Ramesh Shukla.

Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale said that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi had described Prime Minister Modi as a friend.

On Sunday, he will address at a community event at Dubai Opera.

► It is a matter of pride for not only me but also the 125 crore people of India that I have been called as the Chief Guest at the World Government Summit.

Modi arrived here on Saturday evening on the second leg of his three-nation tour to West Asia and the Gulf. Abbas has also refused to meet with U.S. officials, including Vice President Mike Pence.

He would also interact with leading businesspersons of Oman on developing stronger economic and business links with India.