Report: India’s Modi to Visit Palestinian Authority in February

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi attend an Israeli-Indian economic conference in New Delhi, India, on Monday. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his entourage were on their way home to Israel Friday morning after what officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said was a “very, very successful” trip to India this week. During the visit, the PMO said, Israel signed a number of important agreements with India in the areas of defense, economic cooperation, agricultural assistance, and cultural exchanges.

Netanyahu summed up his visit Thursday in an interview with the Indian publication Times Now. “This kind of cooperation that we have, with technology on one side and agriculture on the other is so good for every aspect of life. for water, for agriculture, for security. This has statutory benefits,” Netanyahu said, adding that beyond the matter of agreements and economy, “I see it (India-Israel relations) as a partnership of civilizations, a partnership of two democracies.”

PM Netanyahu also praised his host Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi, calling him “a great patriot of India. When he thinks about increasing vegetable production, enhancing Indian security against terrorism, catapulting young Indians into the future with technological know-how, I think he’s thinking about what is good for India. I think he is right.”

Meanwhile, Yediot Acharonot, quoting sources in the Indian media, reported that Modi was planning to visit the Palestinian Authority next month. He is expected in Ramallah on February 10, and will meet with PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and other top PA officials. According to the Indian reports, the Indian government believes that it needs to further its relationship with the PA out of reasons of “fairness,” especially given the very positive reception Modi and his government gave Netanyahu in India.

No confirmation on the visit was given by the Indian government, but the report said that Israeli officials believe it may be accurate because India often plans visits like these in the space of just a few weeks.