Indian President leaves for Israel, Palestine, Jordan visit
10 October 2015, Nirapad News: President of India Pranab Mukherjee left on a six-day landmark visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel Saturday morning.
He is the first Head of Indian State to visit Israel and Palestine.
A ceremonial send-off was accorded to the President. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, the three services chiefs and other bureaucrats were present to see off the President.
The first leg takes him to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the invitation of King Abdullah-II Ibn Al Hussein, during which he is scheduled to deliver a speech at the University of Jordan and meet the Indian community, besides holding bilateral discussions with the leadership there.
“The visit will be the first by an Indian President to Jordan in the last 65 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Jordan in 1988,” a senior external affairs ministry official said.
In Palestine, Mukherjee will meet his counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, besides Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. The visiting dignitary is to deliver a lecture at Al Quds University there and inaugurate the Nehru secondary school at Abu Dees.
The visit to Israel, in the last and final leg, also holds importance for bilateral ties that have been warming up significantly in recent years. The Indian President will interact with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and address the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
“India established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 and since then the relationship has evolved into a multi-dimensional partnership,” the official added.
Mukherjee will also visit the Hebrew University where he will be presented an honorary doctorate.
The President’s delegation includes Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot and six members of Parliament, including KP Thomas of Congress, Meenakshi Lekhi of BJP and Anupam Hazra of Trinamool Congress.
The vice chancellors of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia and the director of IIT Kharagpur are also to accompany the President.