Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Ramallah on February 10, becoming the first ever Indian Prime Minister to visit the West Bank.
Modi in Israel Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
On Monday, Palestinian and Indian sources confirmed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas on February 10. Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Ramallah and the West Bank.
The historic visit comes a few weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India. In July 2017, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.
Modi’s visit to Ramallah also follows the vote at the UN in December 2017 in which India joined several nations in voting to condemn the US for its decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Prior to Modi taking office in 2014, India was the first non-Arab state to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1974. Additionally, India was one of the first countries to recognize Palestine as a state in 1988. Indian-Israeli relations have strongly increased under Modi’s leadership.
Palestinian sources indicate that the two are to discuss cooperation for agricultural purposes and to enhance diplomatic relations. Modi is said to arrive in Ramallah by helicopter from Amman, Jordan. Considering Ramallah’s close proximity to Jerusalem, Israeli security in the city is likely to be heightened during Modi’s visit.