Jerusalem Declaration: India's position on Palestine is independent: MEA

Aubrey Yates
December 8, 2017

Hours after Trump's announcement, the Narendra Modi-led government on Thursday said its position on Palestine is "consistent".

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

"India's position on Palestine is independent and consistent", said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. Observers see this as a clear indication that the Indian embassy will continue to remain located in Tel Aviv which is recognised by nearly all countries as Israel's Capital. India's response to Mr. Trump's statement came even as the Palestinian Ambassador to India declared that his country is likely to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi in near future.

His message on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 25 last or India's statement to UN General Assembly on November 29 last, too, did not refer to the call for East Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine.

Similar view were expressed when Modi visited Israel in July.

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The US announcement has come at a time when India is gearing up for a high-profile visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to this country in January, marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The party held the USA responsible for scuttling any possible peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. "They reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements".

But India made sure that its ties with the Arab world remain unaffected by hosting Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirming its commitment to the Palestinian cause.

Delhi's neutral position has allowed it to maintain ties with both Israel and Palestine; Saudi Arabia and Iran; Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to officials who have served in the volatile region. This is despite the fact that India now enjoys close strategic ties with both the U.S. and Israel.

The US move evoked sharp criticism not only from the Arab world but also from Europe.

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