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After abstaining in anti-Israel vote, Indian official on Palestine visit

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

 New Delhi: Days after India abstained in a UNHRC vote against Israel over the 2014 Gaza conflict, a top Indian official visited Palestine during which he met President Mahmoud Abbas.

Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in the external affairs ministry, was on a two-day official visit to Palestine on July 8-9.

On Wednesday evening, Wadhwa called on Abbas and discussed bilateral relations and issues relating to the West Asia and the stalled Middle East Peace Process.

Wadhwa also met officials in the ministry of foreign affairs of Palestine, said an official statement on Thursday.

Wadhwa will call on Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian prime minister, on Thursday.

He is also to inaugurate the Jawaharlal Nehru Secondary School for Girls in Asera Al-Shamalyeh.

The project is a gift from the government and people of India to Palestine. The school is one of the Indian projects in Palestine and a part of India’s capacity building initiatives in Palestine, said the statement.

The other ongoing projects of the Indian government in Palestine include the Jawaharlal Nehru Secondary Boys School in Abu Dees, setting up of the India-Palestine Centre for Excellence in ICT and Digital Learning and Innovation Centre in Al Quds University (with a satellite centre in Ramallah) and supply of technical and vocational education training equipment and training services to seven vocational training centres in Palestine.

On July 3, marking a significant change in stance, India had abstained on a UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning Israel over a UN report into the alleged war crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza conflict. But India stated that “there is no change in New Delhi’s long-standing position on support to the Palestinian cause”.

India has in the past voted in favour of anti-Israel resolutions in the UN.

India was among five countries that abstained in the vote against Israel.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Israel, Palestine and Jordan this year, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also to visit Israel this year.

(IANS)

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Narendra Modi to Inaugurate Abu Dhabi’s First Hindu Temple

As of now, there is only one Hindu temple located in UAE, which is situated in Dubai

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will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons

On his next visit to the United Arab Emirates as part of his West Asia tour starting 9 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating first-ever Hindu temple to be constructed in Abu Dhabi as reported by Economic Times.

During Modi’s visit to the oil-rich nation in 2015, around 20,000 square metres of land was allotted for the construction of a temple in Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba.

According to the records, UAE is home to as many as 2.6 million Indians, who form around 30 percent of the total population of the country. As of now, there is only one Hindu temple located in UAE, which is situated in Dubai.

Prime Minister Modi visit to UAE will kick start on 10 February. After landing in Abu Dhabi, he will be travelling to Dubai the next day. On a three-day event in Dubai to which India has been invited as the guest country, Modi will be addressing a large gathering of Indians in Dubai Opera on 11 February sixth World Government Summit.

After the Prime Minister’s visit in 2015, India’s relations with the UAE have seen some remarkable advancements. On India’s 68th Republic Day celebration, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyanthe was honoured as the chief guest. Just after that visit of Zayed Al Nahyanthe, UAE initiated a USD 75 billion sovereign funds for India.
Interestingly, UAE remains to be India’s number one trading partner and the current annual trade between the two countries stands at around USD 53 billion.

Following UAE’s visit, Prime Minister Modi will be visiting two other countries in West Asia – Palestine and Oman. The visit to Palestine will be first Indian Prime Minister to the country in seven decades. Last year, Modi had visited Israel, the arch-rival of Palestine and hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a six-day visit to India between 14-19 January.

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