India’s position on Palestine independent, says MEA

In an indirect reference to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, India took a cautious stance and said it is not influenced by any "third country".

Updated - December 01, 2021 06:34 am IST

Published - December 07, 2017 11:05 am IST - NEW DELHI:

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi. File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi. File photo

Hours after U.S. President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, India took a cautious stance, saying it follows an independent policy on Palestine that is not influenced by any "third country".Mr. Trump's announcement was welcomed by the Israelis but drew swift condemnation across the Arab-Islamic world even as Indian experts cautioned that the U.S. recognition will place new challenges before the Arab world.

"India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests and not determined by any third country," said the Official Spokesperson in a statement to the media. India has traditionally supported an independent Palestine as part of a two-state solution. The statement, however, did not specifically address the issue of Jerusalem as the U.S.-recognised capital of Israel.

Also read: Jerusalem - Who stands where

President Trump’s statement came a week after India expressed support for "independent and viable Palestine" and participated in the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In a message on that occasion Prime Minister Modi had said, "We hope for early realisation of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine."

Modi's Israel visit

India’s recent official comments have mostly avoided a mention of Jerusalem.

However, Mr. Modi, ahead of his July visit to Israel, indicated that India will decide on Israeli claims on the holy city after the two sides come to a consensus.

"India supports all efforts to find an acceptable solution to all the pending issues, including Jerusalem. I assume the question refers to our embassy in Tel Aviv. We will take a decision on that after both sides come to an agreement on Jerusalem," Mr. Modi had told Israel Hayom in an interview. ( Israel Hayom , an Israeli national Hebrew language free daily newspaper, means 'Israel today').

The Prime Minister, however, did not answer if India would shift its embassy to Jerusalem in future.

Also read: Kiss of death to the two-state solution, says Palestine

The announcement of Trump administration has drawn cautionary remarks from the Indian diplomatic community. Veteran diplomat and India’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Chinmaya Gharekhan said the U.S. move needed to be carefully handled as it would trigger massive protests across the Arab-Islamic world.

"Egypt, Turkey and Jordan are traditional allies of the U.S. but they have criticised the move already. It will also test the budding closeness between Saudi Arabia and Israel and help Iran which has taken a hostile position on Israel," he said.

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