India remains firmly committed to assist the Palestinian people in achieving their developmental goals assured President Pranab Mukherjee at a banquet hosted in honour of President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine in New Delhi. The Indian President said India has been unwavering in its support for the aspiration of the Palestinian people to have their own country and, themselves, be the masters of their destiny. In 1938, Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation voiced our country’s rejection of the partition of Palestine and the creation of a state based on religion. Later in 1947, India voted against the partition of Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly. India was the first Non-Arab State to recognize PLO as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1974 and one of the first to recognize the State of Palestine in 1988, President Mukherjee said. ”We were delighted when the UNGA voted on 29 November, 2012 to upgrade Palestin’s status to”non-member observer state” and in favour of the installation of Palestinian flag at the UN premises along with the flags of other observer states in April, 2015”
Consistent with these efforts, India has expressed support for the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Road Map. We have persistently advocated for the implementation of relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and its Security Council. We were happy to have participated in the Middle East Peace Process Conference held in Paris in January, 2017, the President added.
President Mukherjee expressed the hope for early resumption of talks between Palestine and Israel leading to the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine. We wish that the creation of a Palestinian State – that is a full member of the comity of nations, becomes your lasting personal legacy to your people.
India has been happy to contribute to Palestine’s nation-building endeavour through technical and financial assistance. I am glad to note that most of the projects announced during my State Visit to Palestine are making good progress. I am also happy to learn that the foundation stone has been laid for the US$ 12 million Palestine India Techno Park – which had been announced during my visit. Both our Governments recognize the indispensability of investing in human resources for building the strong foundation of a modern nation. My Government is pleased to have hosted over 700 Palestinian nationals in training programmes offered under the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation programme. He said it is a matter of satisfaction that the two Governments have agreed to intensify mutual co-operation in the fields of security, information and communications technology, agriculture, education, culture, healthcare and sports. The youth exchange programme initiated by the two Governments will help in forging a partnership between future leaders for enhancing the mutual understanding between the peoples.
The President said this was a time of unprecedented global challenges. The scourge of terrorism is, unfortunately, one of the biggest threats faced by the international community. India believes that there can be no justification, whatsoever for terrorism. Its use as an instrument of state policy is perilous and reprehensible. We believe that closer co-ordination and concerted efforts by the international community are necessary to tackle this menace effectively.
Five MoUs were exchanged on the occasion of the visit of the Palestinian President which included MoU on Visa Exemption on Diplomatic and Official Passports, MoU on Cooperation in Youth Affairs and Sports, MoU on Agricultural Cooperation, MoU on Cooperation in Health Sector and MoU on Information-Technology and Electronics.