Arab outreach works, as India votes for negotiated settlement of Jerusalem

The dramatic vote came a day after a fortnight-long outreach by the Arab countries to India.

December 21, 2017 11:57 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Reiterating its traditional policy on the Israel-Palestine dispute , India on Thursday voted for a negotiated settlement of the Jerusalem issue at the UN General Assembly with 127 other member countries.

The dramatic vote came a day after a fortnight-long outreach by the Arab countries to India.

Saudi and Palestinian envoys met diplomats from the Ministry of External Affairs ahead of the vote.

Speaking to the media during the weekly briefing, the MEA spokesperson acknowledged that Arab diplomats held consultation with India on the vote and the Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar informed them about India’s traditional policy on Jerusalem.

The meeting with Mr. Akbar took place on December 11 to discuss the U.S. position on Jerusalem and the Minister reiterated India’s position, said spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday. India has maintained since December 7 that it follows an independent policy on the issue of Jerusalem which does not get influenced by “third parties”.

The UN resolution received nine votes against and 35 abstentions.

The resolution which expresses deep “regret” on the December 7 declaration by U.S. President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel received India’s vote even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit India in the new year.

Consistent approach

However, it is likely to serve India well as high-level visits are reportedly being planned between several Arab countries and India. Next week, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi will be in New Delhi.

However, senior officials said India maintains a consistent approach on this issue and pointed at the speech by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the NAM Ministerial Meeting on Palestine on the sidelines of the September UNGA session where India reiterated its traditional policy to have a negotiated settlement to the Palestinian issue.

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