Palestine President accorded ceremonial welcome

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New Delhi: President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas being received by the President Pranab Mukherjee and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the Ceremonial Reception, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on May 16, 2017. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

New Delhi, May 16: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was on Tuesday accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here ahead of holding talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi received Abbas. He was then accorded the ceremonial guard of honour at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“Deepening historically close and friendly ties,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted.

Later, Abbas paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Abbas and discussed issues of bilateral interest.

“Reinforcing support to Palestine. Sushma Swaraj calls on President Mahmoud Abbas,” Baglay said.

Abbas will participate in delegation-level talks with Modi. The two sides are expected to sign a series of agreements.

The visiting President will also call on Mukherjee and meet Vice President Hamid Ansari.

The four-day official visit of Abbas comes ahead of Modi’s visit to Israel in July. This is the Palestine President’s fifth visit to India and the third state visit after 2008 and 2012.

A delegation comprising Palestine Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr, Foreign Minister Riad Malki, Diplomatic Advisor Majdi Khaldi, Presidency Spokesperson Nabil Aburdeineh and Palestine’s Chief Judge Mahmoud Habbash is accompanying Abbas.