23:43 GMT14 April 2021
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    India-Palestine relations witnessed several surprises last year. In July, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a stand-alone visit to Israel, skipping Palestine. Later in the year, India upheld its support to the Palestinian cause by favoring a UN resolution condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a historic move, is set to visit the West Bank during his three-nation tour of Palestine, UAE, and Oman on 9-12 February 2018. This would be the first visit to Palestine by an Indian Prime Minister. The Indian external affairs ministry said that Modi will hold discussions on matters of ‘mutual interest' with the Palestinian leaders including President Mahmoud Abbas apart from participating in other events.

    Majdi Khaldi, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told the Voice of Palestine that Modi's Ramallah visit will take place on February 10.

    "This is the first Indian PM to visit the Palestinian territories and it is going to be historical," Khaldi said.

    An Indian specialist in West Asian affairs says that this visit should not be seen in the context of India's engagement with Israel but as part of the country's well-calculated strategy of engaging with every major player in the world.

    "Modi is reacting to the ground realities. In the last two years, if one can read, the only fixed agenda of India is to increase its influence in the region. There is no other probable consideration," Prof P R Kumaraswamy of the Centre for West Asian Studies in the Jawaharlal University Delhi told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: India Can’t Afford to Have Bad Relations With Arab Countries — Analyst

    The Indian President had visited Palestine in 2015 along with Israel and Jordan. India is among the handful of nations that has a mission in Ramallah.


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    mutual interest, United Nation, historic visit, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Narendra Modi, India, Palestine, Israel
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