President Pranab Mukherjee today left on a six-day landmark visit to Israel and Palestine, becoming the first Head of Indian State to visit these two nations and providing an opportunity for him to impress upon the leadership there to reduce tensions.
A ceremonial send-off was accorded to the President. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, the three service chiefs and other bureaucrats were present to see off the President.
Mukherjee will first travel to Jordan, where he will be discussing various issues including making a renewed appeal for help in securing release of 39 Indians held by ISIS in Mosul town of Iraq. After his two-day state visit to Jordan, the President will travel to Palestine on October 12 and then Israel for a three-day visit from October 13.
During the President's stay in Jordan, India will be looking for opportunities to increase the trade between the countries as Jordan can act as the base for Indian companies to start operations in that region. Mukherjee will be the first Indian President to travel there in the last 65 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Earlier, Rajiv Gandhi had visited Jordan as Prime Minister in 1988. The President will meet King Abdullah and have extensive discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, regional and international issues of mutual concern.
He will also visit the University of Jordan and address its students and faculty. He will also grace a function organised by Indian Ambassador in Amman for Indian community and Friends of India.