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Highlights: After wrapping ‘historic’ visit to Palestine, PM Modi arrives in UAE

Narendra Modi is on three-nation tour of West Asia and the Gulf. In the first leg, he held talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Concluding his Palestine visit, he flew to the Gulf nation of UAE. Here are the highlights:

india Updated: Feb 10, 2018 22:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Modi in Palestine,Live updates
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.(Twitter/Raveesh Kumar)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in UAE on a two-day official visit during which he will hold talks with top leadership of the Gulf nation and witness signing of nearly a dozen agreements to bolster political and economic ties.

Earlier in the day, Narendra Modi travelled to Ramallah, becoming the Indian prime minister to make an official visit to Palestine.

The February 9-12 trip comes within a month of the visit to India by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that saw the two countries hailing each other as a strategic partner despite New Delhi’s long-standing support for the Palestinian cause.

In a special recognition of Modi’s contribution to relations between India and Palestine, the PM was conferred the “Grand Collar of the State of Palestine” by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Here are the highlights:

10.23 pm: Five government-to-government MoUs signed between India and UAE

10.14 pm: Delegation level talks led by PM Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held.

10.06 pm: PM Narendra Modi meets members of committee of a temple whose foundation stone will be laid on Sunday.

9.15 pm: Dubai’s iconic skyscraper Burj Khalifa lights up in the colours of the Indian flag to mark Modi’s second visit to the country.

Twitter/Burj Khalifa

8.55 pm: Prime Minister will be speaking from the royal box in Sultan Qaboos stadium, says India ambassador to Oman, Indra Mani Pandey.

Royal box is used by his majesty Sultan Qaboos only and PM will be first visiting dignitary who is being given honour of addressing the community from the box.

7.55 pm: Modi leaves for the presidential palace for a meeting with Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

7.46 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

He was received by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other members of the Royal family at the airport.

Twitter/Raveesh Kumar

5.20 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi departs for Abu Dhabi from Palestine’s Ramallah.

5.15 pm:

4.54 pm: I thank President Mahmoud Abbas for the hospitality. We had a wonderful meeting, during which we discussed the full range of India-Palestine ties: PM Modi.

4.34 pm: We hope for peace and stability in Palestine, we believe a permanent solution is possible with dialogue. Only diplomacy and farsightedness can set us free from violence and baggage of the past. We know it is not easy but we need to keep trying as a lot is at stake: PM Modi, reports ANI.

4.22 pm: PM Narendra Modi and President Mahmoud Abbas after the exchange of agreements between India and Palestine and joint statement by the two leaders.

4.20 pm: PM Modi says India will double the exchange of students from this year from 50 to 100. India is also aiding construction of an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine.

4.16 pm: People of Palestine have continuously shown exemplary courage in extremely tough times, in spite of the fact that there was an unstable environment: PM Modi

The way you moved forward in such a situation is praiseworthy, we appreciate it: PM Modi

4:15 pm: India and Palestine’s relations have stood the test of time. Palestine has always taken a top spot in our foreign policy: PM Narendra Modi

4:13 pm: This is an honour for India and a symbol of Palestine’s friendship. I thank you on behalf of all Indians for this: PM Modi on the Grand Collar of the state of Palestine conferred on him.

4.10 pm: Here I would like to assert our commitment to political action & negotiations as means of achieving our national goals to freedom and independence in accordance with the two states’ relation along the lines of 1967: President Mahmoud Abbas.

4.09 pm: We have said and will say we are ready to engage in negotiations. We rely on India’s role as an international force and its role in the non-alignment movement and in the international fora, in a way that is conducive to desired peace in our region: President Abbas on Israel-Palestine relations: President Abbas

4:08 pm: It is my honour to welcome you as a great guest, on your first historic visit to Palestine which holds, to you personally and to the people of India, sentiments of love and appreciation. Indian leadership has always stood by peace in Palestine: President Abbas

4.05 pm: India is always for righteousness, justice, peace of Palestine... was one of the first countries to recognise the state of Palestine, says Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas.

3:49 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays wreath at the mausoleum of late President of Palestine Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.

He was accompanied by Prime Minister of Palestine, Rami Hamdallah.

3pm: In a special recognition of Narendra Modi’s contribution to relations between India and Palestine, President Abbas conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on him after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting.

The grand collar is highest order given to foreign dignitaries - Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank. It has in the past been awarded to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad of Bahrain, President Xi Jinping of China, amongst others.

The commendation reads “In recognition of his wise leadership and his lofty national and international stature, and in appreciation of his efforts to promote the historic relations between the State of Palestine and the Republic of India; in acknowledgement of his support to our people’s right to independence and freedom so that peace prevails in the region.”

2.27pm: Palestine is the first leg of Modi’s three-nation tour of West Asia that will also see him going to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.

2.20pm: In a first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister, PM Modi was escorted by Royal Jordanian choppers by the King and Israeli choppers on his way to Palestine.

2.18pm: Prime Minister Modi and President Abbas will discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations as well as discuss the regional and international situations of common concern.

2.15pm: Modi will hold talks with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas following which a number of agreements are going to be signed.

2.10pm: PM Narendra Modi accorded ceremonial guard of honour at Al-Muqata’a, compound of the presidential headquarters, in Palestine’s Ramallah.

1.55pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at the mausoleum of late Palestinean president Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.


1.10pm: PM Narendra Modi departs for Palestine’s Ramallah from Amman, Jordan.

Modi in Jordan

- On Friday, Modi met Jordan’s King Abdullah II and said he had “wonderful” meeting that would further boost India-Jordan ties.

- The King, meanwhile, described the meeting as the beginning of a new chapter in the bilateral ties.

- Talks between the two sides covered the Palestinian cause, and Jordan’s role in protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, based on the Hashemite custodianship over the holy shrines, Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency reported.

- The talks, which were attended by acting prime minister Mamdouh Abbadi, focused on coordination and consultation between the two countries in various fields, as the King highlighted the key role played by India in promoting security, stability and fighting terrorism.

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 14:00 IST