New Delhi: India has always considered the conflict in West Asia to be political and to be resolved peacefully while consistently supporting the Palestinian cause, President Pranab Mukherjee said Tuesday.
“India has always considered the conflict in West Asia to be political in nature and believes it cannot be resolved by force… India has been consistent and persevering in its commitment to the Palestinian cause,” Mukherjee said at a state banquet he hosted in honour of visiting the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
“India wishes to see your realisation of a State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing within secure and recognised borders side by side and in peace with Israel,” he said.
According to President Mukherjee, India’s commitment to Palestine was given voice by none less than Mahatma Gandhi in the days of India’s struggle for Independence.
“As early as in 1936, ‘Palestine Day’, to mark our solidarity, was observed in India,” he said, adding: “We were the first country outside the Arab world to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization, in 1975, as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
“In the United Nations, the Non Aligned Movement, and in other international fora, India has always supported the Palestinian people in pursuing their legitimate aspiration for a sovereign, independent and viable state,” said Mukherjee.
Abbas, who is on a state visit, earlier inaugurated the new Palestinian embassy building here.