Indian PM Narendra Modi is on a historic visit to Ramallah, in West Bank. This is the first ever visit by an Indian head. PM Modi also held talks with Mahmoud Abbas and expressed that India backs freedom of Palestine and stated that the visit is to maintain balance in foreign policy towards Middle-East. PM Modi visited Jordan’s King Abdullah II before visiting West Bank. He will next visit UAE and Oman as a schedule of his regional tour.
Experts, however, believe that Indian ties with Palestine are an issue of debate as India has to face external pressure from Arab governments who provide energy and jobs to many Indians. Indian ties with Palestine date back to 1970s when India developed relations with Palestine Liberation Organization which has now enveloped the politics of Palestine. India will always support a two-state solution and also a return to negotiation table by both Israel and Palestine.
Indian ties with Israel are also at a peak as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited India weeks back and reaffirmed the resolve to further strengthen the relationship. The diplomatic relations between the two nations began in 1992 but are now stronger than at any other point in history i.e. under the current government. India has become the significant purchaser of weapons from Israel to the tune of $1bn annually. India’s vote at UN General Assembly against the US recognition of Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel was because of India’s traditional relationship with Palestine. India has to thus walk the line very carefully. Palestine has been a major recipient of aid from India ever since the 1990s but this volume is negligible as compared to India’s volume of trade with Israel.