New Delhi | President Pranab Mukherjee today left for a three day nation visit to Jordan, Israel and Palestine. The first state visit by an Indian President to these countries. External Affairs Ministry officials said the President’s visit to Israel and Palestine will provide an opportunity for him to impress upon the leadership in the two countries to reduce tensions.
During his visit, the President will be accompanied by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, Members of Parliament and the learned members of the academic community, apart from official delegation and media representatives. In the first leg of the tour, Mr Mukherjee will visit Jordan from October 10 to 12. He will travel to Palestine on October 12. Thereafter, he will arrive in Israel for a three-day visit from October 13.
The President will visit Jordan at the invitation of King Abdullah II. The visit will be the first by an Indian President to Jordan in the past 65 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Jordan in 1988. From the Jordanian side, King Abdullah and Queen Rania visited India in 2006. Mr Mukherjee’s visit to Jordan underscores the desire of the two countries to strengthen their bilateral relations.
During the visit, the President will meet King Abdullah II and will have extensive discussions on entire gamut of bilateral relations, regional and international issues of mutual concern. The President will have a meeting with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan. During his Jordan visit,
Mr Mukherjee is expected to make an appeal for help in securing release of 39 Indians held by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Mosul town of Iraq. In the presence of the President, a number of agreements are expected to be signed.
Mr Mukherjee will also visit the University of Jordan and make a public speech. He will also grace a function organised by Indian Ambassador in Amman for Indian community and Friends of India. After completing his visit to Jordan, the President will visit to Palestine from October 12-13 at the invitation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The President will hold meetings and interactions with Palestinian President Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the leaders of major political parties in Palestine. Mr Mukherjee will also address the Al Quds University and inaugurate Jawaharlal Nehru Secondary School at Abu Dees. During the visit, India will augment its efforts to support the capacity building initiatives of Palestine.
Palestine and India share a cordial and friendly relationship. India has been extending bilateral and multilateral support to Palestine in addition to developmental and budgetary support. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials said the visit of the President to Palestine will further strengthen the bonds of friendship and renew the strong and unwavering commitment of India towards the Palestinian cause.
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