Ahead of prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “historic” visit, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas described India as a "very respected country in the international arena" and said New Delhi can play an important role in resolving Israel-Palestine conflict.
“We believe in the importance of a possible Indian role...to reach a final agreement based on international consensus and resolutions, in which India and other countries can be part of," news agency PTI quoted Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas as saying.
In a first for any sitting Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will visit Palestine during his three-nation tour to Middle East starting Friday.
"We are receiving Prime Minister Modi in a historic visit that will demonstrate the strong ties and relations between the Palestinian people and the brotherly Indian people,” the Palestine President said.
"We will discuss the recent updates with Prime Minister Modi, and the recent developments in the peace process, the bilateral relations, and the regional situations. And the possible role India can play in enhancing peace in the region, as well as discussing different economical aspects beyond the existing ties we already possess," he said.
PM Modi’s visit to Ramallah comes only three weeks after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s state visit to India.
Since Mahatma Gandhi’s time, India has been supporting Palestine and advocate for the rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem.
In 1937, Mahatma Gandhi in an article termed Jewish incursion into Palestinian territories as “inhumane”. India recognised the State of Palestine in 1988.
After Modi’s visit to Israel in July last year and Netanyahu’s recent India visit, critics have predicted that Indo-Palestine ties will see a downfall.
However, Abbas said that "any state has the right to establish relations with other countries".
"We believe in the importance of our relationship with the brotherly Indian State, the support of India to the Palestinian people, and the relationship we possess with the Indian people, will not be effected by India's relations with any other State," he added.