PM Modi arrives in UAE on his second visit to Gulf country

The big news Narendra Modi blames Congress for India’s partition and nine other top stories

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a joint press conference with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday during his historic visit to the country.

The basic idea of an Indian trip here - it is the first leg of a three-nation trip, the other countries being the USE (Riyadh) and Oman (Muscat) - is to stress on India's de-hyphenating of relationship with Israel and Palestine.

The office of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said it considered the visit of Mr Modi - a "grand guest" - as a "historical and significant" event.

President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Palestine in October 2015 had been the first by a Head of the State of India.

The Modi administration, in what is being termed as "bold" and a "historic" visit, has chose to de-hyphenate Israel and Palestine and engage with both nations separately.

"I believe that the Palestinians understand that this visit is a comfort prize after Israel and India have grown closer dramatically in the last few years", Lior Weintraub, a former Israeli spokesperson in New Delhi and Washington, said. said.

Praising the Palestine's efforts to remain united despite an unstable environment by the violent protests, Modi said, "People of Palestine have continuously shown exemplary courage in extremely tough times, in spite of the fact that there was an unstable environment". On his arrival, he laid a wreath at Mausoleum of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

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Modi exchanged state visits with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently, and relations between the two countries are better than they have ever been.

Stressing on BJP's serious intentions on strengthening connectivity in Tripura, Modi said, "We have already given broad-gauge railway connectivity to Tripura, improved the national highways and large allocations have been given for development of airports in Tripura".

India has so far refrained from commenting on this development, and how Modi will be dealing with this if asked a direct question is to be seen.

"This is a standalone visit", said B Bala Bhaskar, an official on the foreign ministry's West Asia desk.

Kumar highlighted Modi s planned activities at the 6th World Government Summit, WGS 2018, which will be held on Sunday, under the patronage of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to arrive in UAE on the evening of February 10. India recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) early and then the State of Palestine in the early 1980s.

The two countries are expected to sign as many 14 agreements and bilateral deals during the historic visit. "I am happy that we are moving forward with our developmental cooperation during this visit", he added.

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