Modi In Ramallah:India Hopes Palestine Will Soon Become A 'Free Country'

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"That's why I am here, in Ramallah", Mr. Modi said at the administrative headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Palestinian Foreign Ministry undersecretary Tayseer Jaradat said talks between the two leaders will focus on Palestinian efforts to get worldwide sponsorship of peace talks with Israel. The people of Palestine have shown remarkable courage in the face of several challenges. "Palestinian interests have always got our support and remained at the top in our foreign policy".

Modi's visit will be his second to the UAE since becoming Prime Minister in 2014.

India was one of the earliest champions of the Palestinian cause, but in recent years turned to Israel for high-tech military equipment and anti-terrorism cooperation.

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Abbas thanked Modi for India's support for various Palestinian projects, saying this will enhance bilateral relations and serve the Palestinian population. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the India-Israeli partnership "a marriage made in heaven".

PM Modi will reach Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening and where he will be given a ceremonial reception before meeting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Presidential palace. President Abbas conferred Prime Minister Modi with Commendation of Grand Collar, it read "In recognition of his wise leadership, lofty national and worldwide 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". The US president is also withholding tens of millions of dollars from UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.

The trip follows Modi's visit to Israel last summer, where he opted not to make a detour to the West Bank as part of New Delhi's efforts to "de-hyphenate" its relations with Israel and the Palestinians. India has chose to de-hyphenate its policies to Israel and Palestine. Abbas rejected the traditional US role after President Donald Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December. "We rely on India's role as an worldwide voice of great standing and weigh through its historical role in the Non-Aligned Movement and in all global forum and its increasingly growing power on the strategic and economic levels, in a way that is conducive to just and desired peace in our region", Abbas said.

Modi will also meet with Arab CEOs in Dubai before he leaves for Oman from Dubai to conclude the visit to the region.