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Terrorism, climate change on Mukherjee’s agenda for talks with Israel

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Jerusalem: Terrorism and climate change will be among the prominent areas during President Pranab Mukherjee’s talks with the Israeli leadership on Wednesday, as the two sides seek to take their ties to a new level with collaborations in a host of subjects.

The president will meet his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day and also address the Knesset, the country’s parliament.

Ahead of the meetings, Mukherjee listed the growing menace of terrorism and extremism, climate change and reforms in global governance as areas where he was keen to discuss with President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“I will seek the assessment of the Israeli leadership about recent developments in the region which have caused concern all over the world and have direct implications for India,” Mukherjee said.

“We are disturbed at the recent violence. India condemns all forms of violence. We have always sought a peaceful resolution of disputes,” the president said.

The remarks, made soon after he was accorded a ceremonial welcome here on Wednesday morning, come against the backdrop of both Israel and Palestine blaming the other for the recent escalation in conflict, which is claiming lives of the nationals of both countries.

The remarks assume greater significance as the president arrived here after visiting Palestine on Tuesday evening, where the leaders wanted New Delhi to strongly take up the issue with the Israelis.

In fact, Mukherjee — during his various engagements in Palestine — had assured India’s full support for the country’s cause, including a separate statehood with East Jerusalem as the capital.

On more than one occasion, he said such support was initiated when India became independent in 1947 and continues even today.

But the Israeli side has been equally concerned that the Indian president did not raise the issue of violence with Palestine from their perspective.

Other areas Mukherjee listed for talks included cooperations in agriculture, defence, education, research, science and cyber security.

“We are also discovering and identifying new areas of complementarities where there is significant potential to be realised. We agree that there are tremendous opportunities for mutually-beneficial collaboration,” Mukherjee said.

(By Arvind Padmanabhan, 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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