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Prez reiterates India’s support to sovereign, independent Palestine state

Amman (Jordan): President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday reiterated India’s support to a negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Delivering a lecture at the University of Jordan after an Honorary Doctorate was conferred on him, President Mukherjee said, “We desire to see Palestine living side by side at peace with Israel as endorsed in the Quartet Roadmap and relevant to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.

Highlighting India’s deep concern on the ongoing violence in Syria, the President said: “We are saddened by the tragic loss of lives and the long suffering of millions of displaced citizens, including innocent women and children, and laud Jordan’s humanitarian assistance and sheltering of 1.4 million refugees despite its own severe domestic constraints.”

Stating that India believes that Syria has a key and fundamental part to play in achieving peace and stability in West Asia, “India has been consistently calling for all sides in the Syrian conflict to abjure violence so that conditions can be created for an inclusive political dialogue, as there can be no military solution to this conflict. And, such a dialogue must take into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria. Prolonged conflict in Syria has already begun to have a severe impact on the region and beyond.”

The fragile security situation in Iraq is no less a matter of grave concern, he said, adding that the rise of intolerance and sectarian violence calls for a comprehensive approach for achieving a political solution in Iraq.

Stating that instability in India’s neighbourhood can threaten her security and slow down her progress, the President said at a time when the entire world is affected by the scourge of terrorism, it is important to recognise that India has been preoccupied with this menace for over four decades.

“Terrorism emanating from our neighbourhood remains a major security threat to us. We believe that addressing this challenge should be a major priority of the international community. India believes that countries adopting a policy of selectiveness in identifying and dealing with terrorists, especially those who allow these forces to thrive on their territories, will eventually be endangered by the very same actors,” he said, adding that India has been actively working for strengthening the international regime against terrorism.

“We seek full and universal compliance by all countries, with the counter-terrorism measures initiated under the aegis of the United Nations, particularly UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2011) and United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism (GCTS) adopted in 2006. India would like to see a collective effort by all the member States of the United Nations for the early conclusion and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. It has been pending for over a decade,” he said.

This Comprehensive Convention would serve the cause of humanity by prohibiting States from facilitating or allowing their territories to be used for terrorist acts, and would also enable states to cooperate in suppressing terrorism and in punishing the perpetrators, abettors, financiers, facilitators and collaborators of terrorism, he added.

Hailing India’s economy as one of the largest emerging economies in the world, the President said, “India has experienced an average annual growth rate of more than 7 percent over the past decade, and is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world. India seeks greater Foreign Direct Investment in the insurance, construction, defence and railways sectors.”

“Our bilateral trade with Jordan has crossed two billion dollar last year and we have set ourselves a trade target of five billion dollar by 2025. We can achieve this if we expand the range of items in our trade basket, increase the share of high-technology and value-added products and enhance exchanges and cooperation in the services sector. Our priorities are healthcare, IT & IT-enabled services, financial services, transport and logistics,” he added.

In the meantime, India and Jordan have signed six memorandums of understanding ( MoUs) on areas such as maritime transport and communication.

The President will go to Ramallah on Monday where he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.(ANI)