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Modi to open India-assisted centre to train diplomats during Palestine visit

Modi who will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine is expected to announce cooperation in agriculture and capacity building through scholarships.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2018 18:16 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Palestine,Mahmoud Abbas
File photo of President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas presenting Prime Minister Narendra Modi a portrait with his name inscribed in Arabic in New Delhi during his visit in May 2017. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Palestine Institute Diplomacy, a centre to train diplomats of that country built with Indian assistance of $4.5 million when he visits the country on February 9, a government official said on conditions of anonymity.

“This centre is latest example of India-Palestine cooperation, especially in the area of capacity building and its coming up three years of its announcement reaffirms our importance we place to our commitments”, the official said.

Modi who is the first Indian Prime Minister ever to visit Israel, will also chalk up a similar distinction when he visits Palestine.The Palestine visit comes six months after his historical trip to Israel.

Stepping up agriculture cooperation and capacity building through scholarships are among the announcements Modi is likely to make during his visit there.

The Prime Minister will be visiting Palestine, UAE and Oman from February 9 to February 12.

During his Palestine visit, the Prime Minister will hold a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who had visited India last May during which Modi had reassured him of India’s “unwavering” support towards the Palestinian cause.

Significantly, Modi’s visit to Palestine where he will spend a few hours, comes less than a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s India trip, a month after India voted against Israel at the United Nations on the status of Jerusalem.

After the Modi-Netanyahu talks, Vijay Gokhale, the secretary (economic relations) and present foreign secretary had said, “What the two sides agreed, that our relationship was much larger than any single issue...that we need to look at it holistically and while we continue to talk to each other, our relationship is not determined by a single issue.”

He was asked whether India’s vote against Israel at the UN figured in the talks between the two prime ministers.

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 08:49 IST