India, Palestine relations have stood the test of time: PM Modi

ANI | Updated: Feb 10, 2018 17:48 IST

Ramallah [Palestine], Feb 10 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said relations between India and Palestine have "stood the test of time."

Prime Minister Modi said, "India and Palestine's relations have stood the test of time. Palestine has always taken a top spot in our foreign policy."

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. The way you moved forward in such a situation is praiseworthy, we appreciate it."

Prime Minister Modi referred to a technology park coming up in Ramallah for which the construction work was currently on. He stated that with the new technology park, Palestinians would have both employment and develop new skills.

He also said that a new skill centre and a capacity building corporation would come up to provide jobs to Palestinian youth.

"India is aiding the construction of an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine. I am happy that we are moving forward with our developmental corporation forward during this visit," Prime Minister Modi added.

Comparing Indian and Palestinian youth, Prime Minister Modi said, "The opportunities that we give to our youths back in India is almost the same here. Palestinian youths are just like us. If we nurture their skills properly, we can achieve pragati (development), samrudhi (prosperity) and atmanirbharta (self-employment)," he continued.

The Prime Minister also announced the doubling of exchange of students from 50 to 100 from this year. He also thanked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for making his visit successful.

Commenting on the political situation in Palestine, Modi said, "We hope for peace and stability in the Palestine, we believe a permanent solution is possible with dialogue. Only diplomacy and farsightedness can set us free from violence and the baggage of the past. We know it is not easy but we need to keep trying as a lot is at stake."

"I have assured President Abbas that India is bound by a promise to take care of the Palestinian peoples' interests. India hopes that soon Palestine will become a free country in a peaceful manner."

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi arrived in Ramallah on Saturday, escorted by Israeli and Royal Jordanian choppers on a visit that was the first by an Indian Prime Minister after 30 years.

He placed a wreath at the mausoleum of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and also signed the visitors book at the museum.

He was given a ceremonial guard of honour at Al-Muqata'a, the presidential compound in Ramallah. He met with Abbas and was conferred with the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine, the country's highest honour.

After he concludes his visit to the Palestine, Prime Minister Modi, will depart for the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman from where he will emplane for Abu Dhabi.

Prime Minister Modi's visit to the Palestine comes after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India last month. (ANI)