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PM Modi arrives in Palestine on a historic visit

Press Trust of India  |  Ramallah (West Bank) 

today arrived in on a historic visit to Palestine during which he will meet and reaffirm India's support for the Palestinian people.

Modi, the first Indian to visit Ramallah, arrived here on the first leg of his three-nation tour.

Modi and Abbas will discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations as well as discuss the regional and international situations of common concern.

"We will discuss the recent updates with Modi, and the recent developments in the peace process, the bilateral relations, and the regional situations. And the possible role can play in enhancing peace in the region, as well as discussing different economical aspects beyond the existing ties we already possess," Abbas had told

Describing as a "very respected country in the international arena", the 82-year-old Palestinian had said that can have a possible role in creating a multilateral forum of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to reach a final agreement.

According to Abbas, Modi's visit to the region reflects India's long-held position of supporting peace and stability in the region.

Modi will begin his engagement by laying a wreath at the Mausoleum of iconic Palestinian leader He will be accompanied by his Palestinian counterpart

After paying homage to Arafat, the will take a short tour accompanied by Hamdallah of the Yasser Arafat Museum located adjacent to the Mausoleum.

Modi will then be received by Abbas before the ceremonial welcome at the

The two leaders will then have discussions, sign bilateral agreements, hold a joint press conference and share lunch before Modi leaves for in a chopper.

During his maiden visit to last year, Modi did not travel to Ramallah, the Palestinian seat of government. His standalone visit to had led to many analysts questioning the future of the Indo-Palestine ties.

This time Modi skipped in a clear message that is de-hyphenating its ties with and Palestine.

Modi's visit to Palestine comes amid heightened tensions in the region after US recognised as the capital of

The unilateral US decision to declare as the capital of was challenged at the where 128 nations, including India, voted to turn down the move as "null and void".

Trump's decision to declare as Israel's capital angered the Palestinians, sparked protests in the and raised concern that it could further destabilise the region.

Though has shied away from becoming a party in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Palestinian leader on several occasions has stressed on a possible role for in the peace process.

believes in a in which both and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully.

The envisions independent Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting side by side peacefully. The Palestinians see east as their future capital.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 14:05 IST