PM Modi hopes talks between Israel, Palestinians will resume soon

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United Nations, Nov 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes that talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will resume soon, leading to a comprehensive peace process and an amicable resolution of the conflict.

In a message read out by India's Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji at the UN General Assembly, Modi reaffirmed India's support and solidarity with Palestinians.


"We remain hopeful that talks and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will resume soon, leading to a comprehensive peace process and an amicable resolution of the conflict," the Prime Minister said in his message.

He said that the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29 is an "important occasion for us to reaffirm our support for the Palestinian people's struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side and at peace with Israel."

The Prime Minister said that India has always stood by the Palestinian people in pursuit of their legitimate goals and their efforts aimed at economic and social development with dignity and self-reliance.

He said the visit by President Pranab Mukherjee to Palestine in October, the first ever State Visit, provided an opportunity to reiterate India's commitment to Palestine and to review overall developments in the region.

Modi also extended his congratulations to the people of Palestine on the "historic installation" of the national flag of Palestine at the UN in September, saying this is a step forward towards Palestine becoming a Member-state of the United Nations, which India fully supports.

In his statement on November 23, Mukerji said capacity building in Palestine is a priority for India.

India has contributed financial and budgetary support to Palestine, including a USD one million annually to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

India has pledged and contributed USD four million in response to the National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza.

It is also undertaking important bilateral development projects in health, education, skill development, vocational training as well.

Mukerji, however, stressed that these initiatives need an atmosphere free of violence and instability to be sustainable.

"Continued violence around the holy sites of the Old City of Jerusalem is a cause of concern. We call for all to show restraint, to avoid provocation and unilateral actions and to return to the peace process," he said.

He reiterated that India firmly believes that dialogue is the only viable option in the search for a just, durable and comprehensive peaceful solution of the Palestinian issue.

"We hope that both sides will demonstrate the necessary political will to return to the negotiating table and resume dialogue," Mukerji added.


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