The Palestinian leader, who is on his first Asian tour, arrived in the Indian capital on Thursday from Pakistan where he said Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf could play an important role in the quest for a Middle East peace.

His tour has also taken him to Japan, where he won a pledge for $100 million in aid to follow Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and to China, where he warned that depsite progress, the Middle East was still on the brink.
  
In India, he was due to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Foreign Minister Natwar Singh and the chief of India's ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi.

Abbas heads to Washington next week for his first visit to the US since he was elected in January, and is to meet with US President George Bush on 26 May. He is expected to seek direct US economic assistance for his administration.