Barely a month after hugging his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to repeat the gesture with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian city of Ramallah on Saturday.
In discussions with several officials in Ramallah, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, it appears that the Palestinian leadership sees in the Indian prime minister's visit an opportunity to seek his assistance in pushing forward the deadlocked peace process. India and Jordan enjoy friendly ties since diplomatic relations were established in 1950, Raveesh Kumar, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, said. In a tweet put out on Thursday, Modi said that he will be holding talks with the crown prince and the ruler and prime minister of Abu Dhabi. Two booklets containing the PM's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and Shah's speech at various platforms were distributed among MPs during the meeting. India has consistently voted in favour of resolutions supporting the Palestinian cause at global forums, an issue that has bothered strategic partner Israel.
"The Prime Minister expressed honest thanks for logistical support extended for smooth facilitation for his Palestine visit", Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Terming the budget a positive one, Modi said it focused on farmers and middle class, and party MPs should target them to counter the "negativity" being spread by the opposition.
On his arrival here, Modi was received by Jordan Prime Minister Hani Al-Mulki.
After Palestine, the Prime Minister would visit United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
The UAE also became the first country to contribute to India's strategic petroleum reserve, through an agreement signed between the two sides during Sheikh Mohamed's visit to India previous year. More than 50,000 Indians had thronged the International Cricket Stadium in Dubai to listen to their Prime Minister on his first visit.