Sunday January 21, 2018
Home India India-Palesti...

India-Palestine aim to bolster economic ties

0
//
32
Sushma Swaraj
Republish
Reprint

Palestine: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here on Sunday that India was working towards closer political interaction with Palestine. It also intends for deeper economic engagement with them.

“We have also started to put in motion the framework suggested by our president for the future of our partnership during his visit,” she said referring to President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Palestine in October last year.

“Accordingly, we are working for closer political interaction and deeper economic engagement with Palestine,” she said while inaugurating the India-Palestine Digital Learning and Innovation Centre at the campus of the Al Quds University here. The centre is part of India’s capacity-building efforts in Palestine.

“We are also looking at ways and means to further increase academic collaboration between India and Palestine,” the minister said.

Elated at the centre’s inauguration, she said this was yet “another example of India’s commitment to helping its brothers and sisters in Palestine”.

Sushma Swaraj, who held bilateral talks with her Palestinian counterpart Riyad Al Maliki and called on President Mahmoud Abbas earlier in the day, said her talks with the two leaders were “fruitful”.

“I am coming here after fruitful discussions with President Abbas and Foreign Minister Riyad Al Malki on a wide range of bilateral, multilateral and regional issues,” she said.

“In my meetings, I was happy to see that we have shared views on issues and there is great warmth in our friendship.

“We also discussed India’s capacity building assistance to the people of Palestine of which this Center is a shining example.”

Sushma Swaraj mentioned this was her first visit abroad in 2016 and Palestine her first destination.

“This in itself reflects the importance Palestine holds for India.”

She said the fact that her visit was taking place shortly after President Mukherjee’s visit “also reflects our keen interest in further deepening the very rich and historic relationship that we have with Palestine”.

“India’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and its principled support to the Palestinian cause is rooted in our own freedom struggle,” she said.

According to the minister, India’s approach to Palestine has crystallised into a policy with three core dimensions — solidarity with the Palestinian people; support to the Palestinian cause; and support to Palestine’s nation-building and capacity-building efforts.

“The entire Indian political leadership remains steadfastly committed to these policies,” she said.

Sushma Swaraj said India’s strengths in IT and IT-enabled services could immensely benefit the Palestinian economy and society.

“We are ready to assist Palestine in IT, as well as other sectors, as much as we can,” she said adding that India would build another centre for excellence in ICT and innovation in Gaza city.

“We are also developing a techno-park in Ramallah. President Abbas views the techno-park as a transformative project,” she said.

She said India’s empathy with the Palestinian cause and the friendship with the Palestinian people remained undiluted.

“This is an integral part of our foreign policy,” she said.

“We will also continue to support the developmental aspirations of the Palestinian people by all possible mean at our disposal.”

Earlier on Sunday, apart from her meetings with Al Maliki and Abbas, who hosted a lunch in her honour, she paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at his bust, which is placed at the Garden of Nations here.

She also paid tributes at the mausoleum of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat here.

Sushma Swaraj, who landed in Tel Aviv late on Saturday, reached Ramallah, the administrative capital of Palestine, on Sunday morning.

Later in the day, she proceeded to Israel where she will meet the top Israeli leadership. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Palestine envoy recalled after India’s strong protest

"This prompt action by the Palestinian government will go a long way in improving India-Palestine ties and further cooperation", and "the immediate dialogue and resolution of the crisis is truly appreciated by both the people of India and Palestine."

0
//
19
Palestine moved towards peace with India. Wikimedia Commons
Palestine moved towards peace with India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Palestine recalled its envoy after strong protest from India, pointing out, it highly values its relationship with the country.
  • It also expressed deep regrets over the recent happenings.

Palestine on Saturday recalled its envoy to Pakistan for sharing the stage with 26/11 terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, with President Mahmoud Abbas directly intervening to order the recall after India strongly protested the envoy’s action as “unacceptable”.

“Palestine is keen to maintain good relations with friendly India and supports it for the efforts in its fight against terrorism,” the Palestine Foreign Office spokesperson said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine in a statement however clarified that the “participation of our envoy in a mass solidarity rally with Jerusalem, held in Rawalpindi on Friday, and in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified.

“Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates under the direct instructions of the President of the State of Palestine to recall the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan immediately,” it said.

On Friday, Ali, stood with Hafiz Saeed at a rally called to condemn the US recognising Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, as Israel’s capital. The rally was called by Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition of more than 40 Islamist parties. Saeed is also a key leader of this coalition.

After photographs of the event went viral on the social media, India took up the issue strongly with the Palestinian authorities, who expressed “deep regret” over the incident.

Palestine expressed regret regarding the incidents which took place.eurasiareview
Palestine expressed regret regarding the incidents which took place. eurasiareview

“Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan’s association with terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who is prescribed by the UN, is unacceptable,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“The concerns were conveyed both in New Delhi to the Palestinian Ambassador and in Ramallah to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates,” it said.

“The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the Government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their Ambassador’s presence at this event. They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately.”

Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haij said: “We are supporting India in its fight against terrorism and because of that my government decided to directly call our ambassador to go back home, not to be Palestine ambassador to Pakistan anymore.”

The action of the Palestinian envoy in Pakistan came days after India voted with the rest of the world in favour of an Arab resolution in the UN General Assembly rejecting US President Donald Trump’s decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Palestine wants to maintain healthy relationship with India.
Palestine wants to maintain a healthy relationship with India.

According to the External Affairs Ministry statement, Palestine has also conveyed that it “highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in the war against terrorism, and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India”.

“We take note of the assurances given by the Palestine side,” the statement added.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine also expressed appreciation for the “honorable position that India has taken by voting in favor of the resolution in the United Nation General Assembly last week”.

The India-Palestine Solidarity Front (IPSF) in New Delhi strongly condemned the Palestinian envoy’s dais sharing with Saeed and later appreciated the prompt action by President Mahmoud Abbas to recall Ali.

“We appreciate the prompt action by President Mahmoud Abbas, the Government of Palestine, to recall (Ali) for having attended a meeting convened by LeT Chief Hafeez Saeed, an internationally reviled and known hardcore terrorist,” said IPSF.

“This prompt action by the Palestinian government will go a long way in improving India-Palestine ties and further cooperation”, and “the immediate dialogue and resolution of the crisis is truly appreciated by both the people of India and Palestine”, it said.

The rich historical legacy bequeathed upon our nation by Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh and the stalwarts of our freedom struggle, the respect, and adulation for the great Yasser Arafat, lives on in our collective memory. IANS