India committed to stronger ties with Jordan - Modi

Congress President and Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi addresses media personnel New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday concluded his historic Palestine visit, the first by any Indian Prime Minister.

Modi's West Bank visit was seen, in part, as an attempt to compensate the Palestinians after he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for six days last month, in a reflection of warming ties between Israel and India.

"I have assured President Abbas that India is committed to the Palestinian people's interests", Modi said in a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The spokesperson said the visit to the four countries was aimed at deepening "our multifaceted ties with the Gulf and West Asian region".

"Had a wonderful meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan". During the meeting, Modi told the King that he is looking forward to his visit to India in February end.The King, meanwhile, described the meeting as the beginning of a new chapter in the bilateral ties.

He also acknowledged that the Indian leadership has always stood by peace in Palestine. However, India has also pursued friendly relations with Israel, engaging in a massive arms trade worth $1 billion a year and accounting for almost half of Israel's weapons exports.

He said: " I am glad that India and Palestine are cooperating extensively in key sectors such as technology, training and infrastructure development".

Ahmad Majdalani, a Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee member, said improved relations between Israel and India could help the Palestinians.

Mr Kumar also tweeted a picture of Modi hugging the King. He visited Jordan on Friday, and will tour the United Arab Emirates and Oman before concluding the trip. Speaking alongside Modi, Abbas said they had discussed "bringing the political process out of the deadlock due to the continued Israeli occupation of our land and the political impasse following [US President Donald] Trump's decision on Jerusalem and the refugees". The Prime Minister will be given a tour of the monument after which he will attend a community function at Dubai Opera House at 11.00 am.

The visit was a delicate balance act for Modi after his strong embracement of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his visit, again a first by an Indian PM, to the country past year. India will also provide young Palestinians with vocational training.

Noting that he had earlier visited the mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, Modi hailed him as "one of the greatest leaders in history". Modi will then meet Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman at 10.00 pm (IST).



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