New Delhi, Ramallah confirm first-ever trip by Indian PM to West Bank
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New Delhi, Ramallah confirm first-ever trip by Indian PM to West Bank

Modi to meet Abbas less than a month after warmly hosting Netanyahu

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media ahead of a session at the Parliament house in New Delhi, January 29, 2018. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP)
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media ahead of a session at the Parliament house in New Delhi, January 29, 2018. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP)

Indian and Palestinian officials confirmed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to make a trip to the West Bank next month, in what is described as a historic visit.

The trip will come as part of a four-day regional tour by Modi that will also take in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

During the journey, set for February 9-12, Modi will hold talks on matters of “mutual interest” with the countries he visits, according to a Saturday statement from the Indian foreign ministry.

Majdi Khaldi, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told the Voice of Palestine on Monday that the Ramallah visit will take place on February 10. He said it would be the first visit to the West Bank by an Indian prime minister.

“This is the first Indian PM to visit the Palestinian territories and it is going to be historical,” Khaldi said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) hugs Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on January 15, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MONEY SHARMA)

Modi’s visit will come just weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warmly welcomed during a five-day trip to India.

Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel in July, but did not include the Palestinians in his itinerary.

India, for decades a leading country in the pro-Palestinian nonaligned movement, has developed warm relations with Israel in recent years. However, it voted in favor of a UN resolution late last year condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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