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India's Modi heads to Palestinian territories to balance ties with Israel

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"They are also active participants in the prosperity and progress of their host countries", asserted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while going on a three-nation tour of Palestine, United Arab Emirates and Oman.

India was one of the earliest champions of the Palestinian cause but in recent years turned to Israel for high-tech military equipment and anti-terrorism cooperation.

Modi will be the first-ever prime minister to visit Palestine.

The two leaders reiterated their commitment to Afghanistan's security, a White House statement said on February 8.

Discussions also centered around Afghanistan, Burma and North Korea.

India was the first non-Arab country to recognise the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in 1974.

India-UAE ties were elevated to that of a Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership during Modi's visit in 2015. "We enjoy vibrant multi-dimensional ties with the countries here", Modi said.

"The long Indian position of supporting the two-state solution is well known".

Hitting out at the ruling party in Tripura, Modi said, "CPI-(M) keeps demanding answers from the Modi Government in Delhi but here they are answerable to their own people as to what they have done for the past 25 years".

As Palestine works to establish an worldwide multilateral mechanism of negotiations, the Palestinian leader stated that "India can play a role in this".

Mr. Javadekar alongwith External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj recently launched a book titled "Exam Warriors" penned by Mr. Modi.

Despite Modi's personal camaraderie with Netanyahu, India voted in the UN General Assembly in December a year ago against US President Donald Trump's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The fourth aspect, according to Bhaskar, is India's continuous support to the Palestinian cause at various worldwide fora. "He told me, I am coming to both (Palestine and Israel)". He will travel to Ramallah via Amman with Jordan providing the logistic support for the transit. This will be PM Modi's first visit to Oman and second to UAE. In UAE he will lay the foundation stone for a new temple for the Hindu community living there.

Last April, Israel and India signed a military deal worth almost $2 billion, that includes the supply over several years of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers, and communications technology.

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