The ‘historic’ visit to Palestine by Prime Minister Modi embarked a new chapter in the history of Indo-Palestine ties. It’s historic as no other PM of India had made a visit to Palestine ever before.
The visit is eye-catching and gathered media attention as it is being seen through the prism of recent bromance between Modi and Netanyahu. Palestine sees India, the world’s largest democracy and a growing global power, as a genuine partner in resolving the decades old dispute on “two state solution”.
Visit only Symbolic?
Modi touched down at Ramallah with his contingent along with two Israeli helicopters escorting him. It seems, Israel was already taken into confidence before the visit was planned.
Prime Minister held talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas & met Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and reiterated India’s commitment on two state’s solution. Thereafter, he laid a wreath to Abu Ammar popularly known as Yaseer Arafat (founder of Fatah political party). The fact that the visit lasted for merely 3 hours is indicative enough that there is nothing much in the itinerary of Mr.Modi.
India signed 6(six) MoU’s with Palestine in building infrastructure like schools, hospitals and providing development assistance in setting up National Printing Press. India is also providing help in construction of India Palestine Centre for Empowering women, “Turathi” at a cost of US$ 5 million.
However, no joint statement was issued by the two world leaders making the visit more symbolic and a balancing act by Mr.Modi in the delicate Arab relations.
The historic visit by Indian Prime Minister is in itself enough to envy Pakistan which was trying to cozy up its relations with Palestinian Authority. Pakistan sees the issue of Palestinian conflict with an opportunity to rake up and highlight the internal Kashmir problem on the world stage. However the recent withdrawal by Palestine of its ambassador in Pakistan on sharing dais with a UN designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed at the request of India does not go down well within Pakistan. And now with this historic visit followed by a scheduled meet with the heads of UAE and Oman is making the Pakistan establishment envy with its nearest neighbour.