PM Modi conferred with highest Palestinian honour

ANI | Updated: Feb 10, 2018 17:34 IST

Ramallah [Palestine], Feb 10 (ANI): In a special recognition of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's contribution to relations between India and Palestine, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas conferred the "Grand Collar of the State of Palestine" on him after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting.

The commendation read, "In recognition of his wise leadership and his lofty national and international stature, and in appreciation of his efforts to promote the historic relations between the State of Palestine and the Republic of India; in acknowledgement of his support to our people's right to independence and freedom so that peace prevails in the region."

The Grand Collar is the highest order given to foreign dignitaries- such as Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank.

It has been awarded to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad of Bahrain, President Xi Jinping of China, amongst others in the past.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi arrived in Palestine's Ramallah on Saturday.

He was escorted by Israeli choppers and Royal Jordanian choppers by the King on the way to Palestine. This is also the first visit ever by an Indian Prime Minister.

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

After a ceremonial guard of honour, Prime Minister Modi met with Abbas. Both sides signed various agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). This will be followed by a working lunch between the two leaders.

He will then depart to Amman's Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, from where he will emplane for Abu Dhabi.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Prime Minister Modi's visit to Ramallah in Palestine was the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister there.

Prime Minister Modi's visit to Palestine comes a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India.

Prior to Prime Minister Modi, former President Pranab Mukherjee and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Palestine in October 2015 and January 2016 respectively. (ANI)