NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated on Tuesday for the re-establishment of talks between Palestine-Israel, during an ongoing official visit to New Delhi by the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.
The Indian leader’s remarks came ahead of his upcoming visit to Tel Aviv.
India hoped for an early resumption of talks between Palestine and Israel in order to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution, said Modi in a joint press conference shortly after holding a bilateral meeting with the visiting Abbas.
Modi, who on July 5 is set to become the first Indian prime minister to visit Tel Aviv, backed the idea of a “sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine coexisting peacefully with Israel.”
The Indian leader added that in their meeting, both he and Abbas agreed on defending peaceful means and a lengthy political dialogue to solve the Middle Eastern conflict.
He also pledged to work towards strengthening ties with Palestine and continuing to support its development.
In a step in this direction, both signed five memoranda of understanding in sectors such as information technology, health and agriculture.
On Wednesday, Abbas is to conclude his visit to India, during which he has met senior officials, such as Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and interacted with IT business owners at the Center for Development of Advanced Computing.
India has significant strategic links with Israel and is one of the largest clients of its weapons industry, with an annual average trade balance of around $4.6 billion and another billion dollars in components and defense systems.