Weeks after Netanyahu visit, PM Narendra Modi says India for free Palestine

Modi Travels to West Asia, Will Make Historic Prime Ministerial Visit to Palestine

PM Modi in Palestine LIVE Updates: Modi to meet Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas today

Dubai's iconic skyscraper Burj Khalifa was tonight lit up in the colours of the Indian flag to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second visit to the country. President Abbas conferred Prime Minister Modi with Commendation of Grand Collar, it read "In recognition of his wise leadership, lofty national and global stature, in appreciation of his efforts to promote historic relations between Palestine and India; in acknowledgement of his support to our people's right to freedom so peace prevails in region".

New Delhi has backed the Palestinian territories' quest for nationhood and Modi has voiced support for an independent state existing peacefully alongside Israel. "India will always support Palestine's development journey", Modi said, adding that India is hopeful of peace and stability in the region.

Abbas has sought worldwide support for replacing the United States as sole Mideast mediator after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He said India remains "committed to Palestinian national rights", but stopped short of offering support for Abbas' political agenda.

Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and the people of Palestine show that the Indian Prime Minister is a Global Leader.

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Abbas expressed hope that India, which he described as a "world power that has a big status and weight", would contribute to achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

Modi made his first ever visit to Israel in July past year, and Israeli Prime Minister paid back the visit last month.

The visit, which came weeks after Modi hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was seen as an Indian effort to balance its strengthening ties with Israel.

Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said Modi and Abbas are to sign cooperation agreements worth $50 million. The agreement includes building a specialty hospital, three schools and the construction of a center for empowering women. Trump's pivot upset Palestinians who seek the city's Israeli-annexed eastern sector as a capital.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to arrive in the UAE on Saturday evening.

Even as Modi dramatically tightens India's ties with Israel, New Delhi has continued its longstanding support of the Palestinians in worldwide forums.

"Here we count on India, with its status as a great power, its historical role in the non-aligned movement and in worldwide forums.to achieve a just peace", Abbas said. "India and Palestine's historic relations have stood the test of time".

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