PM Modi offers unwavering support to Palestine, but hopes peace between Palestinian and Israeli sides

The two signed agreements for visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders, in the fields of agriculture cooperation, IT and electronics, health sector and cooperation in the youth affairs, sports

Published: 16th May 2017 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2017 08:00 PM   |  A+A-

PM Modi along with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas in national capital. (PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: While hoping for an early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday conveyed India’s "unwavering support" to the Palestinian cause. After holding extensive dialogue with visiting Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas in national capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi India hopes to see a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel.

Modi’s reaction is seen as a balancing act ahead of his upcoming visit to Israel, the first ever visit by any Indian Prime minister.

After wide ranging talks, where two leaders inked five agreements, Prime Minister Modi, while addressing joint media, he said, "We hope to see the realisation of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel. I have reaffirmed our position on this to President Abbas during our conversation today."

Modi also said that two leaders had an extensive exchange of views on the situation in West Asia and the Middle East Peace Process and agreed that the challenges in West Asia must be addressed through sustained political dialogue and peaceful means.

“India hopes for early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution,” PM Modi said while adding that at the bilateral level, India is committed to be a useful development partner of Palestine.

On his part, Abbas said Palestine appreciates the solidarity India extends to its cause. "India is a friend. It has influence at the international level. India can play an important role (in the resolving Palestine Israel crisis," Abbas said.

The two sides signed agreements for visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders, in the fields of agriculture cooperation, IT and electronics, health sector and cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.

Mentioning about the technopark jointly built by India and Palestine in Ramallah, Modi said it will a one-stop solution to IT-related services in Palestine. In October 2015, India has announced grant of USD 12 million for setting up the park with payment of USD 3 million each on half-yearly basis for 2 years. The Palestinian side has made the land available for the project.

According to the joint statement issued by the MEA, it said, “President Abbas and I agreed that both sides, through practical cooperation, will work together to build Palestine’s economy and contribute to improving the lives of its people. We will continue to support the development and capacity-building efforts of Palestine. The agreements concluded today are reaffirmation of our intent to strengthen cooperation in this direction.” Modi, while inviting Palestinian people to participate in large numbers during International Yoga Day, Modi also said that both leaders also look forward to enhancing our cultural exchanges by adding new elements including Yoga exchanges.

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