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India assures its stand on Palestine is 'independent'

08 December 2017

India reacted cautiously to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, asserting it would take an independent stand on the issue.

A local expert on Middle Eastern politics believes a formal USA 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.

Over the past few months, India has been studiously avoiding mention of East Jerusalem in Palestine-related statements. rime Minister Narendra Modi did not refer to East Jerusalem during his high-on-optics Israel visit this summer.

Hours after India decided not to toe American line on Jerusalem Palestinian ambassador to India Adnan MA Abualhaija informed that Modi will visit Palestine.

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

The government's position came in for sharp criticism from the CPM.

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Earlier in the day, spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar said: "India's position on Palestine is independent and consistent".

Guterres has already said that "there is no alternative to the two-state solution: two states living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition - with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine".

During his visit to Ramallah in October 2015, the then President Pranab Mukherjee had reiterated India's "principled support" to Palestinians' demand for East Jerusalem to be the capital of the State of Palestine. They were supporting the Israeli issue.

The party held the United States responsible for scuttling any possible peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

The Narendra Modi government made it clear that while India would continue to support the cause of Palestine, it would also seek to build stronger ties with Israel. And, we hope to see the realization of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel.

In fact, India's ties with the Arab World gained in strength simultaneously with Israel during the last two decades, pointed out of the people quoted above. The Arab world will obviously keep a close eye on the visit.

India assures its stand on Palestine is 'independent'