Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on an official visit to Palestine, UAE & Oman from 9th – 12th February 2018.
PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Palestine
On February 9, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled from New Delhi to Jordanian capital Amman and took a chopper ride to reach the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
- Ramallah, a city in West Bank is home to Palestinian Authority’s presidential headquarters and also serves as Palestine’s de facto capital.
- It is to be noted that Narendra Modi is first Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Palestine.
PM conferred ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’
On February 10, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’ by Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas.
- Grand Collar is Palestine’s Highest order given to foreign dignitaries — Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank.
- PM Modi was conferred Grand Collar in recognition for his key contribution to promote relations between India and Palestine.
- Heads of Government, who have been conferred Grand Collar in the past include King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad of Bahrain and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
India, Palestine ink six agreements in different areas
On February 10, 2018, India and Palestine signed following six agreements in different areas including health and education:
- MoU for setting up of India-Palestine Super-specialty hospital at Beit Sahour in Bethelhem Governorate.
- MoU for construction of India-Palestine Centre for Empowering women
- MoU for setting up of a new National Printing Press at Ramallah
- MoU for Construction of school in Muthalth Al Shuhada Village
- MoU for construction of school in Tamoon village in Tubas Governorate
- MoU for providing assistance for construction of additional floor to Jawahar Lal Nehru for Boys at Abu Dees
India to invest $50 mn to boost capacity building in Palestine
During the course of Indian Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi’s visit to Palestine, India announced several measures to help Palestine in capacity building and infrastructure development.
- These measures will be executed through above stated MoUs, entailing an investment of USD 50 million.
- Setting up of super speciality hospital in Beit Sahur involves an investment of USD 30 million.
- Three MoUs for construction of schools entails investment of USD 5 million.
- Besides, India has agreed to set up an institute for diplomacy in Palestine and double the number of scholarships to Palestinians to study in India.
PM Narendra Modi’s visit to UAE
PM Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Aran Emirates (UAE) on February 10, 2018 and was received by the UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
- This was PM Modi’s second state visit to the UAE after August 2015.
Narendra Modi launches project to build Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu stone temple
On February 11, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.
- This will be a Swaminarayan temple, run by Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha.
- Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha is a socio-spiritual Hindu organisation set up in 1907.
- The temple will come up on 55000 square metres of land. Structure of the temple will be hand-carved by Indian artisans and will be assembled in the UAE.
- It will be completed by 2020 and will be open to people of all religious backgrounds.
India, UAE sign five agreements
On February 10, 2018, India and UAE signed following five agreements post wide-ranging talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
- MoU between the Consortium of Indian oil companies and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) was signed for the acquisition of a 10% participating interest in the Abu Dhabi’s offshore Lower Zakum Concession.
- MoU for cooperation in the field of manpower aimed to institutionalise the collaborative administration of contractual employment of Indian workers in the Gulf country.
- MoU for technical cooperation in railways to facilitate development of joint projects, knowledge sharing, joint research and technology transfer.
- MoU between Bombay Stock Exchange and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange aimed at enhancing cooperation between both the countries in financial services industry.
- MoU between the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and DP World to establish multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu comprising warehouses and specialised storage solutions.
PM Modi, UAE Crown Prince agree to initiate joint development projects for third countries
As per a joint statement issued on February 11, 2018, during PM Modi’s visit to UAE, India and the UAE have agreed to start joint development projects for third countries, including in the war-torn Afghanistan.
- Besides, both the countries have expressed desire to work together in the spirit of South-South cooperation in sub- Saharan Africa, particularly through capacity-building, grants and loans, joint projects aimed at supporting the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and collaboration in trade and technology.
India, UAE to hold first joint naval drill in Gulf
India and UAE already have defence cooperation agreement in place. A Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) formed under this agreement meets regularly to deliberate on current developments.
- In the last JDCC held in New Delhi in December 2017, it was decided to conduct the first India-UAE bilateral naval exercise during 2018.
- During the course of PM Modi’s visit to UAE, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed this decision to conduct a bilateral naval exercise during.
- It will be the first instance wherein the Indian Navy will go beyond the Arabian Sea and conduct an exercise in Gulf.
Quick Facts about UAE:
- Capital – Abu Dhabi
- Currency – UAE dirham
PM Narendra Modi visit to Oman
On February 11, 2018, PM Modi landed in Muscat, the capital Oman and begun the last leg of his three-nation tour.
India, Oman sign 8 agreements as PM Modi meets Sultan Qaboos
On February 12, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Qaboos bin Said al Said, the Sultan of Oman. After these talks, India and Oman signed following eight agreements:
- MoU on legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.
- Agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, special, service and official passports
- MoU on cooperation in the field of health
- MoU for cooperation in the field of tourism
- MoU for cooperation and peaceful uses of outer space
- Agreement on cooperation between Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, India and Oman’s Diplomatic Institute.
- MoU on academic and scholarly cooperation between National Defence College, Sultanate of Oman and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
- Annexutre to the MoU on military cooperation.
PM Modi visits Shiva temple & Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat
On February 12, 2018, PM Modi met industry leaders of the Gulf and West Asia region at the India-Oman business meeting in Muscat.
- PM Modi also visited a Shiva temple and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
- The Shiva Temple, located in Matrah area located in the Matrah area is one of the oldest in the region.
- It was constructed 125 years ago by the merchant community from Gujarat and was subsequently renovated in 1999.
- The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, is the biggest mosque in Oman.
Quick Facts about Oman:
- Capital – Muscat
- Currency – Omani Rial