Modi's second state visit to UAE to begin today

PM Modi to meet Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas today

Today will mark a watershed moment for the UAE-India relations with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arriving in Abu Dhabi for his second state visit.

Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas terming Modi's visit as "historic" sought India's intervention to resolve conflict with Israel.

Modi earlier said this region is a key priority to India's external engagement. At the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi asked MPs to hold interactive sessions with common people and let them know the budget's provisions, mainly in rural areas where people need to be told about schemes meant for them. After a courtesy call on King Abdullah II and senior officials in Amman, he will ride a helicopter to Ramallah, the de-facto capital of Palestine on Saturday, since Palestine has no active airports.

Modi had visited Israel a year ago in July in a standalone visit that had led to many analysts questioning the future of the Indo-Palestine ties.

For this reason, many have accused India of hypocrisy for heavily supporting Israel while falsely claiming to back Palestinian statehood. "In a gracious and personal gesture, the King invited Prime Minister Modi to his residence for the meeting", he said. "All programmes will be held in Muqata (Presidential compound)".

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The visit comes weeks after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to New Delhi.

During the visit, Modi said he will engage with leading UAE and Arab CEOs in Dubai on the vast economic opportunities in India and what more can be done to bolster business collaboration.

A Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader said India's growing ties with Israel could benefit the Palestinians. In Oman, they constitute the largest expatriate community, he noted.

"We believe in the importance of our relationship with the brotherly Indian State, the support of India to the Palestinian people, and the relationship we possess with the Indian people, will not be effected by India s relations with any other State", he emphasised. However, India has also pursued friendly relations with Israel, engaging in a massive arms trade worth $1 billion a year and accounting for almost half of Israel's weapons exports.

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