Our position on Palestine not determined by third country

Décembre 1987 première Intifada ou

A local expert on Middle Eastern politics believes a formal US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel wipes away any opportunity that there will be a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.

"India's position on Palestine is independent and consistent". The government though avoided a direct criticism of the U.S. president's announcement.

India had supported the resolution sponsored by Arab countries which endorsed the Palestinian stand on Jerusalem in April 2016.

"An independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the internationally accepted position. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

No country has its embassy in Jerusalem.

In July, Modi became the first Prime Minister of India to visit Israel but he stayed away from Jerusalem.

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"They are doing that", he said, "but the Israeli bureaucracy creates enormous obstacles to Arabs becoming citizens, even if they live in Jerusalem". The position may yet again be reiterated when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits India next month. "We are looking for a different body to look after the peace process". "They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region".

India's ambivalent position stood out not just because of New Delhi's traditional advocacy of the Palestinian cause but also in comparison to the sharp reactions Trump's decision has evoked both in the Arab world and elsewhere, including Russian Federation, the UK, France, Germany, China, the European Union and the UN. With Abbas by his side during the joint press meet on May 16, Modi stressed, "India has been unwavering in its support of the Palestinian cause".

In a message on that occasion Mr. Modi had said, "We hope for early realisation of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine".

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

The US move evoked sharp criticism not only from the Arab world but also from Europe. This is despite the fact that India now enjoys close strategic ties with both the United States and Israel.

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