PM Modi may give Palestine a miss during visit to Israel
It remains uncertain whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be travelling to Palestine when he goes to Israel, possibly in June.
If Modi doesn’t travel to Palestine it will be a break from the past; senior leaders who have so far travelled to the region have had both Israel and Palestine in their itinerary.
The last two high-profile visits to the region under Modi’s premiership – President Pranab Mukherjee in October 2015 and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in January 2016 – had visited the two countries.
Mukherjee even became the first Indian president to visit Israel on his trip.
According to sources, the visit to Israel as a stand-alone one will be more befitting to mark the 25th year of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.
Meanwhile, there is also a possibility of India hosting Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas before Modi visits Israel. But a source said the visit has not been “locked yet.”
Indian officials have been insisting that there is no change in the country’s position on the Palestine question; it was the Modi government which hosted the first ever India-Palestine joint commission, and New Delhi believes in two-state solution to the conflict.
Though India remains wary of how the Arab world will see its ties with Israel, the Modi government has been more open about its ties with the Jewish state.