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June 6, 2017 7:19 pm

During Historic Upcoming Israel Trip, Indian PM Modi Won’t Visit Palestinian Authority

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, in New York in September 2014. Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO via Flickr.

Planning is in full swing ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel next month, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Tuesday.

When Modi lands at Ben-Gurion International Airport on July 5, he will become the first sitting Indian prime minister to set foot in Israel.

During his two-day stay, Walla reported, the 66-year-old Modi — who took office in 2014 — will not travel to Ramallah or any other part of the Palestinian Authority, unlike most foreign leaders who visit Israel.

However, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did fly to New Delhi last month and met with Modi. At that meeting, Modi reiterated India’s commitment to the establishment of a “sovereign, independent, united and viable” Palestinians state “coexisting peacefully with Israel.”

Modi’s trip comes as Israel and India mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. As of late, the relationship between the two countries has flourished, particularly in the defense field.

This February, for example, it was reported that Modi had approved a $2.5 billion deal to acquire an Israeli aerial defense system for the Indian military.

Last November, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin traveled to India, just over a year after his Indian counterpart, President Pranab Mukherjee, visited Israel.

In January, Israel’s envoy in New Delhi, Daniel Carmon, expressed appreciation for recent changes in India’s voting patterns at international institutions.

“In the last couple of years, we have seen a shift in various votes (by India) which reflects the present improvement in relations,” Carmon told The Hindu“I would not over exaggerate this as a trend, each side has their declared positions and it is not a zero-sum game. India says they are committed to the Palestinian cause, to the Arab cause, and they have good relations with Israel that they intend to pursue. We appreciate this stand, and at the UN, we can see it too.”

It is expected that, while in Israel, Modi will officially invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a reciprocal visit to India later this year. In 2003, the late Ariel Sharon became the first and so far only sitting Israeli prime minister to travel to India.

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  • Sunson

    Let the bond between India and Israel grow stronger, this will be good for the world too.

  • Lancelot Blackeburne

    Why should Modi visit PA territory?

    Israel and India have major trade and security ties so there is a strong reason for Modi to visit Israel. What do the Palestinians have to offer India apart from Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, which India already has more of than it needs?

  • watsa46

    What do the Palestinians have to offer to Modi and India? Terrorism. They already have that. What else? Nothing else.

  • Fred

    Pity Modi will not visit Phantom Palestinian murder training camps, to enlighten him on progress of its civilisation for export……