Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday become the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine, week after he hosted Israeli PM and his “close friend” Benjamin Netanyahu.
During his “historic” visit to the West Bank, PM Modi emphasized India’s support to the Palestinian cause and hoped to see an Independent Palestine State soon.
Earlier in July last year, PM Modi in an interview to ‘Israel Hayom’ had said, “India believe in a two-state solution in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully.”
However, Modi didn’t mention his earlier suggestion of a “two-state” solution during his address and avoided to use words “united” and “viable” before calling for an 'independent' Palestine.
India has been one of the earlier champions of the Palestinian cause and supported Palestine’s demand for a “united” and “viable” nation.
Unlike his Israel visit, Modi also avoided issuing a joint statement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“I have once again reassured President Abbas that India is committed to upholding the interests of the Palestinian people. India hopes for an early realisation of a sovereign, independent state of Palestine, living in an environment of peace,” Modi said in his statement while the Palestine President Abbas only listening to him at the Al Muqataa.
Modi also didn’t mention East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital during his speech.
In December last year, India had joined 127 other nations to vote at the United Nations against US President Donald Trump's move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
During Modi’s short visit, India and Palestine also signed several bilateral agreements worth USD 50 million including construction of a super specialty hospital in Beit Sahur.