Skipping Ramallah

Unlike most world leaders, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refuses to schedule meeting with PA chairman during upcoming trip to Israel.

Nitsan Keidar ,

PM Netanyahu meets with Indian PM Modi
PM Netanyahu meets with Indian PM Modi
Amos Ben Gershom / GPO

India’s head of government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is expected to visit Israel in the coming weeks, and will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

Unlike most world leaders, however, Modi, who governs the world’s largest democracy and second largest nation, apparently is refusing to visit Ramallah during his Israel trip, and will not schedule meetings with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas or other PA leaders.

Modi met with Abbas during the PA leader’s trip to India in May, and senior Indian officials have visited Abbas at his Ramallah residence during their trips to Israel.

Yet sources within the Indian government claim that Modi has turned down invitations from Abbas for meetings during his planned July trip to Israel.

“This is a trip that deals only with Israel and relations with [Israel]” a senior official said regarding Modi’s decision not to meet with Abbas. “So it’s pretty clear why the Indian Prime Minister prefers to skip the Palestinian Authority this time.”

Modi is the first Indian head of government to visit the Jewish state, and his trip marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. President Rivlin visited India in November 2016 and Israeli Aerospace signed contracts worth almost $2 billion with India in April 2017.