Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be making a diplomatic visit to Israel next month. However, in an unusual move, he will not meet with the Palestinian Authority.
“This is going to be a purely bilateral visit. He is coming to visit us, and only us,” a senior Israeli official told the Times of Israel. “It’s a great achievement for us.”
The decision is out of step with the typical behavior of foreign dignitaries visiting Israel; even those representing countries with close ties to Israel almost always spend time in Palestinian areas, if not meet with PA officials in Ramallah or Bethlehem.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas did visit New Delhi last month. “India has been unwavering in its support of the Palestinian cause. And we hope to see the realization of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel,” Prime Minister Modi said at the time.
The relationship between Israel and India has warmed considerably over recent years.
According to the Times of Israel:
“India has adjusted its traditional pro-Palestinian voting patterns at international forums in Israel’s favor. Israeli and Indian companies have recently sealed massive defense deals, and three ships from the Indian Navy were in Israel last month for three days of exercises.”