BJP prepares to brand PM Modi a 'global legend'

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who already met PM Modi in Delhi previous year, has welcomed the Indian leader in what he has described as "a significant" visit by a "grand guest".

Describing India as a "very respected country in the global arena", the 82-year-old Palestinian President said that India can have a possible role in creating a multilateral forum of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to reach a final agreement.

More than nine million Indians work and live in the Gulf region, of which about one third live in the UAE alone. The two leaders had discussed the Palestine issue then.

Trump and Modi "expressed concern about the political crisis in the Maldives and the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law", the White House said in a statement.

"The relations between India and Palestine are historical..."

Meanwhile, the highpoint of Modi's current Middle East tour would be his "temple diplomacy".

Modi will hold meeting with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirm support for the country and its development. This was followed by the visit of President Abbas to New Delhi in May 2017.

India has consistently voted in favour of resolutions supporting the Palestinian cause at global forums, an issue that has bothered strategic partner Israel. Modi's visit to Palestine comes less than a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's India trip.

This apart, the visit is also aimed at deepening the huge bilateral agenda, including cooperation in the areas of health, IT, tourism, youth affairs, sports and agriculture.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in October in New Delhi and defended India's ties with Pyongyang, saying some level of diplomatic presence was necessary to keep open channels of communication.

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