New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee who arrived in Ramallah on Monday for a visit, the first by an Indian Head of State to Palestine, said that India supports a negotiated solution, resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“Peace and stability in the region is in India’s interest. We share the perception that resolution of the longstanding Palestinian issue will contribute to the peace and stability of the region. We are, therefore, concerned about the stalled peace process. India supports a negotiated solution, resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital,” President Mukherjee said addressing the state banquet.
“We would like to see the people of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel, as endorsed in the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet road map and relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” he added.
The President congratulated his Palestine counterpart, President Mahmoud Abbas for the historic installation of the national flag of Palestine at the United Nations on September 30.
“We share your pride and joy on this momentous occasion and also your sense of optimism that this is an important step towards the realization of the dream of the people of Palestine for a separate homeland,” he said.
President Mukherjee emphasized that India attaches great importance to its long standing friendship with Palestine and said that India’s empathy with the Palestinian cause and its friendship with the people of Palestine have become an integral part of our foreign policy.
“India has always stood beside Palestine. India’s policy on Palestine has three core dimensions: solidarity with the Palestinian people; support to the Palestinian cause; and, partnership in Palestine’s nation and capacity building efforts. The Indian leadership, across the political spectrum, remains unwavering and steadfast in its support for the Palestinian cause,” he said.
“India is also keen to work with Palestine on the orientation and framework for our future relationship – based on the three pillars of closer political interactions: deeper economic engagement and academic collaboration; and wider cultural contacts and people-to-people exchanges,” the President added.
Speaking about the Palestinian crisis, President Mukherjee said that he firmly believes that dialogue is the only viable option in the search for a just, durable, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the issue.
“Diplomacy and statesmanship have to prevail over hatred and violence in the search for lasting and durable peace. I would like to share my sincere hope of early resumption of the peace process between all relevant parties and pray that it will soon lead to the amicable resolution of conflict in this region,” he said.
President Mukherjee extended an invitation to his Palestine counterpart for a visit to New Delhi.
“In order to continue the tradition of friendly consultations between us, I would like to invite Your Excellency to visit India at a mutually convenient time. It would be an honour to receive you in New Delhi,” he said.