Modi reiterates support for Palestine

India’s backing for a sovereign, independent state is “unbroken and unwavering,” PM says in Ramallah

February 10, 2018 08:00 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 08:01 am IST - Ramallah

A friend remembered:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the mausoleum of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah on Saturday.

A friend remembered: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the mausoleum of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said support for the Palestinian cause is a continuing thread in India’s foreign policy and hoped for an early realisation of a “sovereign, independent Palestine living in a peaceful environment”.

India’s support for Palestine is “unbroken and unwavering. That’s why I am here, in Ramallah,” Mr. Modi said at the administrative headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.

The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine, Mr Modi was speaking after holding bilateral talks with President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Prime Minister, who arrived at Ramallah’s Presidential compound earlier in the day, laid a wreath at the tomb of Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader, whom he described as “a great leader... and a very close friend of the Indian people”.


Mr. Modi was accompanied by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamadallah at the Arafat mausoleum before he joined President Abbas to receive the guard of honour and hold talks.

Six agreements

After bilateral talks, the two sides signed six agreements worth around $50 million, including one for setting up a $30 million super speciality hospital in Beit Sahur. Agreements were also signed to build schools, a diplomatic training institute and a woman’s empowerment and training centre.

“We are committed to taking care of the cause and well-being of Palestinian people,” Mr. Modi said.

“Friendship between India and Palestine has stood the test of time. The people of Palestine have shown remarkable courage in the face of several challenges. India will always support Palestine’s development journey,” he said.


“You have shown steely resolve to overcome [challenges] and advance despite instability and insecurity that threaten hard-fought gains,” he told the Palestinians. “We hope for peace and stability in Palestine. We believe a permanent solution is possible with dialogue.”

Praise for India for ‘noble and dignified positions’

Mr. Abbas expressed thanks for “the noble and dignified positions India has taken towards the Palestinians”.

Speaking after bilateral talks with Mr. Modi, Mr Abbas said, “I would like to reaffirm our commitment to political actions to meet our national goals of freedom and independence, according to the two-state solution on the 1967 borders and the resolutions of the international legitimacy. And Israel in peace and security with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.”

“Only diplomacy and farsightedness can set free from violence and baggage of the past. We know it is not easy but we need to keep trying as a lot is at stake,” Mr Modi said.

Great standing

“We rely on India’s role as an international voice of great standing and weigh through its historical role in the Non-Aligned Movement and in all international forum and its increasingly growing power on the strategic and economic levels, in a way that is conducive to just and desired peace in our region,” he added.

After visiting the Yasser Arafat mausoleum, Mr. Modi was offered a red carpet welcome by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Besides the Palestinian leadership and officials, a small group of religious leaders and representatives of the Indian community in Jerusalem were also present at Muqa’ata. Immediately after the bilateral discussions and the signing of the MoUs, Mr. Modi left for Amman from where he took a flight to the UAE.

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