India and Palestine has signed five agreements during the 4 day visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to India. This is Abbas’s fifth visit to India and the third state visit after his earlier visits in 2008 and 2012.
These 5 MoUs signed were on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder, agriculture cooperation, cooperation in field of IT & Electronics, health sector and cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.
India has called for early resumption of talks between Palestine and Israel and hoped to see a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel. Palestine for its part has thanked India for supporting it in various international forums. Palestine also hopes that India can play a vital role in Middle East Peace process. The Palestinian President also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called for regional and international efforts to fight the menace.
India is assisting developmental projects in Palestine. It has been contributing to material & technical assistance and is building a techno Park in Ramallah at the cost of $12 million.
Both the countries also called for enhancing cultural exchanges between the two sides. India has sought Palestine’s participation in the International Yoga Day to be observed next month.
India and Palestine enjoy a long standing friendship. In 1947, India registered its vote against he partition of Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly. In 1974, India became the first Non-Arab State to recognize PLO as sole and legitimate representative of the people of Palestine. In 2012, India co-sponsored a resolution that resulted in up-gradation of the status of Palestine to a “non-member state‟. In 2014, India voted in favor of Palestine at the UN Human Rights Council. In 2015, India supported installation of Palestinian flag at the UN Premises similar to the flags of the member states.