Palestinian president arrives Monday on state visit
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives in India Monday night on a state visit during which he will hold delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the two sides will also sign three pacts.
This is Abbas's second state visit and his fourth visit to India.
President Abbas will be received by Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, an external affairs ministry official told IANS.
Abbas will hold talks with Manmohan Singh on Tuesday after which the two sides are to sign MoUs for cooperation in ICT, vocational training and constructing schools in Palestine.
On Tuesday morning, a ceremonial reception will be accorded to President Abbas at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, after which he will proceed to lay a wreath at Rajghat, the mausoleum of Mahatma Gandhi.
Besides the talks with the Indian prime minister at Hyderabad House, Abbas will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee, and be called upon by Vice President Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Tuesday.
President Abbas, who will be accompanied by a delegation comprising senior ministers, returns home Wednesday.
During the visit, India is expected to reiterate its support for the Palestinian cause and solidarity with the Palestinian people.
"India has called for an end to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and had welcomed the 'direct talks' between the Israelis and the Palestinians," the external affairs ministry said here ahead of the visit.
"The visit will also provide an opportunity for reviewing the entire gamut of bilateral relations, the Middle East Peace Process, regional and international issues of common concern and in particular the political turmoil in West Asia," the ministry had said.
India has backed the Arab Peace Plan, which calls for withdrawal of Israel to pre-1967 borders, along with recognition of Israel and the establishment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
India has supported the Palestinian application for membership of UN in 2011 and also supported Palestine in gaining membership in UNESCO in October 2011.