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Energy, security, trade to top Modi's agenda in three-nation tour

IANS  |  New Delhi 

and security cooperation, trade and investment and counter-terror efforts will top Narendra Modi's agenda when he goes on a three-nation tour to and the Gulf starting on Saturday.

When Modi reaches from Jordan's capital Amman, he will become the first Indian to visit Palestine. The Palestinian Presidency, in a pre-arrival welcome statement, has described the upcoming visit as "historic and significant".

This will be Modi's fourth meeting with Palestine They had earlier met on the sidelines of the in 2015, at the climate summit later that year and during Abbas's visit to last year.

At a ahead of the visit, B. Bala Bhaskar, (and North Africa) in the (MEA), said there are four dimensions to the visit to Palestine, one being it is the first prime ministerial visit from to the West Asian nation.

Secondly, has contributed immensely to Palestine's nation-building efforts, including infrastructure development and capacity building. Bhaskar said that since the historic visit of then to Palestine in 2015, work on projects worth $30 million has commenced.

This apart, the visit is also aimed at deepening the huge bilateral agenda, including cooperation in the areas of health, IT, tourism, youth affairs, sports and agriculture.

The fourth aspect, according to Bhaskar, is India's continuous support to the Palestinian cause at various international fora. India had voted in the in December last year against US Donald Trump's unilateral recognition of as Israel's capital.

The visit will also de-hyphenate and Palestine after Modi's standalone visit to last July.

After his Palestine visit, Modi will reach in the (UAE), which is home to a huge Indian diaspora, on February 10 evening -- his second visit after August 2015.

Mridul Kumar, (Gulf), said Modi will hold talks with the of and of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, following which several agreements will be signed.

The next day, he will meet members of the Indian community, which numbers around 3.3 million in the Gulf nation, and lay the foundation stone of a temple via video link.

From Abu Dhabi, Modi will proceed to where he will deliver the keynote address at the Sixth World Government Summit, where India is the guest of honour.

He will also meet Vice President and of the UAE and Ruler of and some select CEOs of companies from Gulf countries. India-UAE ties were elevated to that of a Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership during Modi's visit in 2015.

Stating that the UAE is a key source of energy, Kumar said the relationship has gone beyond buyer-seller to that of security cooperation -- the UAE was the first contributor to the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an emergency fuel store. He also said that the UAE has done a lot in meeting India's foreign direct investment (FDI) requirements.

"These include an investment of $500 million in low-cost housing," Mridul Kumar said. "They are also looking at ports, logistic centres and "

The UAE is also the first of and has invested $1 billion as the anchor investor.

From Dubai, Modi will reach on February 11 in what will be the first prime ministerial visit to that Gulf nation in 10 years. In 2008 then Prime Minister had paid a visit to

Modi will straightaway for a large community event at a stadium in the Omani capital. is home to over 800,000 expatriate Indians. He will then hold talks with Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, who will host a banquet in the visiting dignitary's honour.

On February 12, the Prime Minister will meet a group of Omani CEOs. Two Deputy Prime Ministers of Oman, Sayyed Fahad and Sayyed Asad, will also also call on Modi. Modi will also visit the grand and a very old

Kumar said that is a country of strategic importance for India and all three defence forces of the two counties have held joint exercises. The is of special importance for India while planes travelling further up in the West get refueling facility in on a regular basis.



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

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 11:24 IST