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President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to turbulent West Asia begins

President Pranab Mukherjee
Highlights

President Pranab Mukherjee began a six-day historic visit to turbulent West Asia, arriving here on Saturday to a ceremonial welcome followed by lunch with King Abdullah of this strategically-located kingdom.

President Pranab Mukherjee began a six-day historic visit to turbulent West Asia, arriving here on Saturday to a ceremonial welcome followed by lunch with King Abdullah of this strategically-located kingdom.


A colourful reception was accorded to the him at the Al Husseinieh Palace, where he drove straight from the airport after a six-hour flight from India. The president and the King, who wields all the power in Jordan, met for half-an-hour before delegation-level talks.

The King thereafter hosted a lunch for the him who is accompanied by Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and six MPs including K.V. Thomas of Congress and Meenakshi Lekhi of BJP.

Mr Mukherjee, who will travel to Palestine and Israel after a two-day stay here, is the first Indian Head of State to visit the three countries even as the external affairs minister has not been to these countries.

Ahead of his visit, the President called his trip to the three countries as “historic”. Continuing violence in Israel and Palestine in recent weeks, which has resulted in heavy casualties, led to curtailment of the President’s plans to visit some of the historic places there and has led to deployment of extra security. Looking forward to India’s support to build independent state.

Meanwhile, Palestine said it was looking forward to the sincere efforts and all forms of support from India.
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