ISLAMABAD - President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas will arrive here today (January 30) on a three-day visit, the foreign ministry announced on Sunday.

This would be his third visit to Pakistan. He has previously been to Pakistan in 2005 and 2013.

Abbas will be accompanied by a 17-member delegation, including five ministers.

The relations between Pakistan and Palestine have traditionally been strong.

Pakistan has consistently supported the creation of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Pakistan has also extended support to the Palestinian struggle for their independent homeland, in all international forums.

Pakistan and other Muslim countries have been condemning the Israeli excesses to transform the Palestinian majority into minority by creating new Jewish settlements.

This month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved scores of new Jewish colonies in Jerusalem, much to the annoyance of the Muslim world.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump spoke to Israeli prime minister over telephone and invited him to a bilateral meeting in Washington next month.

During his election campaign, late last year, Trump had vowed to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the Jewish country’s capital, despite its disputed status.

The Palestine-Israel conflict dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Israeli aggressors have been trying to control the whole region by pushing away the Muslim population.

For decades, Pakistan has supported the Palestinians’ rights at all forums including the United Nations.

Officials said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would again assure Abbas of his country’s backing for the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.

During the visit, Palestinian president will have a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Sharif followed by delegation-level talks.

Subsequently, the president of Palestine and the prime minister of Pakistan will jointly-inaugurate the newly-constructed Palestine Embassy Complex in the Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad, said a foreign ministry statement.

The government of Pakistan had gifted a plot of land in 1992 for the construction of the Palestinian Embassy Complex.

In 2013 Pakistan also contributed towards its construction.

President Mahmoud Abbas and his delegation will also meet President Mamnoon Hussain, followed by a state banquet in his honour.

“Bilateral political matters as well as other issues of common interest will be discussed between the two heads of state,” said the statement.