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Gulf, West Asia key priority for India: Modi

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Ahead of his three-nation tour to the Gulf and West Asia, Modi said on Thursday that the region is a key priority for India's foreign policy.

"I will be undertaking bilateral visits to Palestine, and from February 9 to 12," Modi said in a pre-departure statement here.

"I am happy to visit the Gulf and West Asian region for the fifth time since 2015. This region is a key priority in our external engagement," he said, adding enjoys "vibrant multi-dimensional ties" with its countries.

Modi will leave for on Friday from where he will transit to on Saturday in what will be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from to Palestine.

"I am grateful to His Majesty of for facilitating the transit," he said. "I look forward to meeting him in on February 9."

Modi said he was looking forward to discussions with Palestinian and "reaffirming our support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine".

This will be the fourth meeting between Modi and Abbas after their meetings on the sidelines of the in 2015 and at the climate summit later that year and the Palestinian President's visit to last year.

The visit will reaffirm India's foreign policy position that its relationship with one country is independent of its ties with a third country and will de-hyphenate and Palestine after Modi's standalone visit to in July last year.

From Palestine, Modi will reach Abu Dhabi, the capital of the (UAE), on February 10 evening in what will be his second visit to the nation since his visit in August 2015.

"In UAE, I will hold talks with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice and of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown of Abu Dhabi," the said.

Modi will hold talks with the Crown soon after his arrival following which several agreements will be signed. The next day, he will meet members of the Indian community 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.

"At the invitation of the leadership of the UAE, I will be addressing the 6th edition of the World Government Summit in Dubai, where India is the guest country of honour.

"There will be interactions with leading UAE and Arab CEOs in on the vast economic opportunities in India and what more can be done together to increase business collaboration."

From Dubai, Modi will reach on February 11 in what will be the first prime ministerial from India to in 10 years since the visit of then Prime Minister in 2008.

"is a close maritime neighbour with whom we enjoy excellent relations," the Prime Minister said, adding that India and Oman have thriving links rooted in centuries old people-to-people exchanges.

Modi will hold talks with Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said and also meet for the Council of Ministers and for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs

"We will review bilateral cooperation and steps to further enhance our traditionally strong links," he said.

"On February 12, I will interact with leading businesspersons of Oman on developing stronger economic and business links with India," he added.

Modi said that both in the UAE and Oman, he will meet the large Indian diasporas that have made those countries their home.

"The Indian is a bridge of friendship between India and the Gulf countries," he said.

While the UAE is home to over three million expatriate Indians, the number is over 800,000 in Oman.



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

First Published: Thu, February 08 2018. 22:46 IST