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Modi to be first Indian PM to visit Palestine

Modi to be first Indian PM to visit Palestine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the de-facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah this week is a test for India's balancing act of relations with Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) government. The interview, which was published on 7 February, was largely centered around the prime minister's personal interests and daily routines, but it also shed light on his bilateral visit to the UAE and the agenda he seeks to pursue when he meets the leadership of UAE.

"Now we see them both as mutually independent and exclusive and as part of this policy Prime Minister is undertaking this visit", B Bala Bhaskar, joint secretary of the foreign ministry said earlier this week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also interact with business leaders in Oman with an objective to further strengthen India' economic ties with Oman.

The Prime Minister will transit through Jordan. President Abbas will hold a luncheon in honour of the "guest of Palestine" and his delegation, followed by a press conference by the two leaders, the report said.

Mr. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Ramallah.

The fourth aspect, according to Bhaskar, is India's continuous support to the Palestinian cause at various worldwide fora.

Before embarking on the visit, the Prime Minister tweeted that the Gulf and West Asian region was a "key priority in our external engagement". He will also visit the India-Palestine ICT park, which is under construction and expected to create employment for young Palestinians.

More than nine million Indians work and live in the Gulf region, of which about one third live in the UAE alone.

On a question about his sleep habits and daily routine, the 67-year-old prime minister said, "My sleep cycle varies from four to six hours, depending on the workload".

The investment from the UAE to India exceeds $11 billion. The agreements will include areas like finance and skills development.

And last month, India had also joined 127 other countries to vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favour of a resolution opposing the recent decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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