Indian PM arrives in Ramallah for talks with Abbas

Indian PM arrives in Ramallah for talks with Abbas

The visit is the first by the Indian prime minister to the Palestinian territories

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday for his first official visit to the Palestinian territories.

Modi flew from Jordan aboard a Jordanian military helicopter to Ramallah, where he was welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at al-Muqata, his Ramallah headquarters.

The two leaders are expected to hold a press conference later today following their talks.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Palestinian Foreign Ministry undersecretary Tayseer Jaradat said talks between the two leaders will focus on Palestinian efforts to get international sponsorship of peace talks with Israel.

“India has a strong influence and very good relations in the international community,” Jaradat said, “We will use the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to continue working for international sponsorship of the peace process,” he added.

The Palestinians have rejected the U.S. sponsorship of peace talks with Israel in the wake of Washington’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in early December.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- currently occupied by Israel -- might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

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