Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas to undertake four day visit of India

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 17, 2017

New Delhi is hosting Abbas ahead of Hindu nationalist Modi s unprecedented visit to Israel reportedly in July - the first-ever by an Indian premier - with observers calling it a balancing act by India to assuage both sides.

On May 16, President Abbas will be given a ceremonial guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan followed by wreath laying by him at Mahatma Gandhi's Samadhi, Raj Ghat followed by delegation-level discussion with Modi.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived here on Sunday on a four-day visit during which he will hold extensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on key bilateral, regional and worldwide issues, including the Middle East peace process. "Apart from the political support to the Palestinian cause, India continues to support developmental projects in Palestine by extending technical and financial assistance", the ministry had said in a release on Saturday. Earlier, he had substantive meetings with Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY in September 2015.

Abbas, who arrives on Sunday, will be on his third state visit to India after 2008 and 2012.

On Monday, addressing a gathering at the India Islamic Cultural Centre here, Abbas said that he would seek the help of Modi's good offices to reach the two-state solution that envisaged an independent, sovereign Palestine with East Jerusalem as the capital. This was followed by External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Palestine in January 2016. On his arrival in India Abbas was recieved by Gopal Baglay, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.

The Palestine President arrived with a delegation for his third state visit to India, where he will hold key talks on bilateral, regional and global issues, including the peace process in the restive Middle East, according to the Foreign Ministry. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would be making a two day visit to New Delhi starting May 15.

However, the visit of Mr. Abbas, said Mr. Rahman, indicates a willingness to draw India into the nascent peace process.

Mr. Modi, who is scheduled to visit Israel this summer, is expected to boost the process further.

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