Congress terms Narendra Modi's Israel trip as 'worrisome'

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Hyderabad, June 3: Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to visit Israel as "worrisome", senior Congress leader Anand Sharma today said it would undermine India's long-held position on Palestine and destroy the balance in foreign policy.

Addressing reporters here, Sharma said India has had a consistent and firm position on the rights of Palestinians for a state of their own since the days of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

PM's visit to Israel worrisome: Congress

"So, there has to be balance. This Prime Minister has actually undermined that balance in India's foreign policy because he has not engaged with the countries of the Middle East, countries of the Gulf. He has diluted India's firm, consistent position on Palestine," he said.

Sharma, Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha and a former Union minister, said the Prime Minister has also not engaged with Africa and Latin America.

"Since it (the visit) is confined to Israel, the Prime Minister must bear this in mind that India has vital interests... economic interests in the countries of the Gulf, countries of the Middle East. There are over seven million Indian diaspora (in these regions)," Sharma said.

"Foreign policy cannot be partisan. He (Modi) is free to travel but the message that he gives and the balance which he destroys...that's worrisome," he said.

PTI

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