Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on February 10 left India for his visit to Palestine, the UAE, and Oman. Before his departure Shri Modi described the Gulf and West Asia region as a key priority in India’s external engagement. He said that his trip was aimed at strengthening ties with the region. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi became first Indian Prime Minister who officially visited to Palestine. He arrived in Ramallah city, the headquarters of the Palestine National Authority and met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has described the visit as significant.
Media wrote “Quite unlike other Indian leaders who had reached Ramallah in the past through Israel, PM Modi travelled straight to Ramallah in a chopper provided by the Jordanian government and escorted by choppers from the Israel Air Force.”
During the visit both countries India and Palestine signed following Memorandum of understanding (MoU) :
MoU for setting up of India-Palestine Super-specialty hospital at Beit Sahour in Bethelhem Governorate at a cost ofUS$ 30 million.
–MoU for construction of India Palestine Centre for Empowring women, “Turathi” at a cost ofUS$ 5 million.
–MoU for setting up of new National Printing Press at Ramallah at a cost ofUS$ 5 million.
–MoU for Construction of school in Muthalth Al Shuhada Village at a cost ofUS$ 1 million.
–MoU for Construction of school in Tamoon village in Tubas Governorate in Palestine at a cost ofUS$ 1.1 million.
–MoU for Assistance of US$ US$ 0.25 millionfor construction of additional floor to Jawahar Lal Nehru for Boys at Abu Dees.
During the foreign trip Shri Narendra Modi visited Oman. Here, he addressed Indian community Indian Community in Muscat and signed agreements which would give impetus to bilateral relations. Some agreements are as follow :
–Agreement on Legal and Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial matter
–Agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, Special, service and official passports
–MoU on Cooperation in the field of health
–MoU on Cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
–MoU on Cooperation between Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, India and Oman Diplomatic Institute.
MoU on Academic and Scholarly cooperation sectors between National Defence College Sultanate of Oman and the Institute for Defence Studies and the Analyses.
–MoU in the field of Tourism cooperation between India and Oman.
–MoU to enhance defence cooperation
Shri Modi tweeted before concluding his visit to Oman “This Oman visit is one I will cherish for a long time to come.” He added “This visit has helped in building upon the centuries-old ties between our enterprising people, and will impart a substantial momentum to our relations in all spheres, including trade and investment relations.” Shri Narendra Modi on the last leg of his three-nation tour, visited the 125-year- old Shiva Temple in Muscat, one of the oldest in the region. “Feeling extremely blessed to pray at the Shiva temple in Muscat,” the prime minister tweeted. “PM @narendramodi performed Abhishekam at the historic Lord Shiva templ.
The temple was constructed 125 years ago by the merchant community from Gujarat and was subsequently renovated in 1999. It has three deities — Shri Adi Motishwar Mahadev, Shri Motishwar Mahadev and Shri Hanumanji. During auspicious days more than 15,000 devotees visit the temple for prayers.
PM Modi also visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, which is the biggest mosque in Oman. The mosque is built from 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone sculpted by 200 craftsmen from India.
Before his arrival in Oman Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid visit to United Arab Emirates. Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi received a ceremonial welcome in Abu Dhabi. It was his second visit as prime minister to the country. Shri Modi held talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and signed several agreements to boost cooperation between both countries.
India and the UAE signed five Government-to-Government MoUs in the presence of PM Shri Narendra Modi and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on 10th February at Presidential Palace. The MoUs signed and exchanged are related to energy sector, railways, manpower and financial services.
An MOU between Indian Consortium (OVL, BPRL & IOCL) and ADNOC was signed for acquisition of 10% participating interest in the offshore Lower Zakum Concession. The concession will be for 40 years from 2018 to 2057, 60 % of the participating interest will be retained by ADNOC and remaining 30 % will be awarded to other International oil companies. This is the first Indian Investment in upstream oil sector of UAE, transforming the traditional buyer-seller relationship to a long-term investor relationship.
To cooperate in the field of Manpower, Government of India and Government of UAE signed an MoU that aims to institutionalise the collaborative administration of contractual employment of Indian workers in UAE. Under the MoU both the sides will work to integrate their labour related e-platforms for ending the existing malpractices, combat trafficking and organize collaborative programs for education and awareness of contractual workers.
An MoU for Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector was also signed between Ministry of Railways, India and Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime of UAE. The MoU aims at cooperation in Infrastructure sector especially Railways. The MoU will facilitate development of Joint Projects, Knowledge Sharing, Joint Research and Technology Transfer. The MoU envisages formation of a Joint Working Group for institutionalising the cooperation mechanism.
To deepen bilateral cooperation in the field of finance, an MoU between Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) was signed and exchanged. It aims at enhancing cooperation between both the countries in financial services industry. The MoU envisages information exchange, exchange of experts and training for mutual benefit of both the countries. The MoU would facilitate investment in financial markets by investors from both the countries. An MoU between Government of Jammu and Kashmir and DP World was also singed to establish multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu comprising warehouses and specialized storage solutions.