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India refrains from seeking East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine

08 December, 2017, 08:15 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • MAHMUD HAMS

A day after US President Donald Trump announced his plans to shift the US embassy from Tel Aviv in Israel to Jerusalem, Palestinian Ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Alhaijaa, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Jerusalem very soon.

"India's position on Palestine is independent and consistent", said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

But New Delhi carefully avoided articulating its long-held position that Israel-Palestine conflict should be resolved through negotiation "resulting in sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel as endorsed in the Quartet Roadmap and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions". In the past though, the Narendra Modi government has underlined the significance of East Jerusalem for Palestine.

Jerusalem is of huge importance to both Israel and the Palestinians.

"Canada is a steadfast ally and friend of Israel and friend to the Palestinian people".

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Indian dignitaries visiting Israel in the past had made it a point to visit Palestine too. Observers see this as a clear indication that the Indian embassy will continue to remain located in Tel Aviv which is recognised by nearly all countries as Israel's Capital.

"India supports all efforts to find an acceptable solution to all the pending issues including Jerusalem".

India with its historical relations with the Ottoman and Persian empires, Iraq and the Gulf, besides Egypt, Morocco and other North African states, have navigated complexities of the Arab World in a rather smooth fashion. PM Modi had skipped Palestine during his visit to Israel in July.

New Delhi has traditionally supported the Palestinian cause even as it opened diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992.

In keeping with India's balanced and independent foreign policy approach, the Modi government, in fact, invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas here in May ahead of the prime minister's trip to Israel. The position may yet again be reiterated when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits India next month. This is despite the fact that India now enjoys close strategic ties with both the U.S. and Israel.

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