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India expresses hope for early resumption of negotiations between Israel, Palestine

India on Thursday expressed hope for the early resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine to achieve a "sovereign, independent, viable and united state" of Palestine living within "secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace" with Israel.

ANI | New Delhi | Updated: 10-09-2020 22:47 IST | Created: 10-09-2020 22:47 IST
India expresses hope for early resumption of negotiations between Israel, Palestine
Representative image . Image Credit: ANI

India on Thursday expressed hope for the early resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine to achieve a "sovereign, independent, viable and united state" of Palestine living within "secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace" with Israel. The remarks were made by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, secretary (consular, passport and visa and overseas Indian affairs), in the External Affairs Ministry, during India and Palestine third round of bilateral Foreign Office Consultations.

The Palestine side was represented by Amal Jadou Shakka, Palestine Deputy Foreign Minister. During the dialogue, both sides comprehensively reviewed the bilateral relations, and also took stock of the progress achieved on decisions taken at the last Joint Commission Meeting held in Ramallah in November 2016 and during the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Palestine in February 2018.

"Reaffirming India's principled and consistent support to the Palestinian cause, Secretary (CPV & OIA) expressed the hope for early resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine to achieve a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. Both sides exchanged views on issues confronting the broader West Asia region. Bhattacharyya briefed Shakka about developments in India's neighbourhood. They also exchanged views on the Covid-19 situation and discussed the steps being taken to address the public health and socio-economic challenges posed by the pandemic.

According to the ministry, Shakka thanked India for COVID-related medical assistance and repatriation of Palestinians stranded in India through Vande Bharat Mission flights. Shakka and Bhattacharyya agreed on the importance of continuing the upward momentum in the relationship between India and Palestine through the exchange of regular visits, and bilateral meetings on the margins of international fora.

The ministry said that the two sides appraised the progress of eight ongoing projects in Palestine implemented under a cumulative grant of USD 59 million, and agreed on fast-tracking them where feasible. "These projects include the construction of three schools, an IT park, a women empowerment centre, a diplomatic institute, and a super speciality hospital and supply of equipment for their national printing press. Both sides will sign additional protocols for extending the time-lines of some of the projects in the coming weeks," the statement read

"Education and capacity building cooperation is an important plank of India-Palestine relations. Apart from 150 ITEC slots and 100 ICCR scholarships given annually, the Government of India has been organizing several tailor-made training programmes for Palestinian government officials. The Indian side offered grant of scholarships to Palestinian students for degree courses in nursing, pharmacy, pathology, paramedics, etc. and internship programmes for their doctors in Indian hospitals," it added. Ministry of External Affairs said that it will further sponsor the training of Palestinian solar mamas at Barefoot College, Tilonia; organise an artificial limb fitment camp in Ramallah in partnership with Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), and undertake a number of quick impact community projects as per requirements of the Palestinian side. (ANI)


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