Technical help should be ‘parallel to political support’: Palestinian PM

India can play a stabilising role by maintaining cooperation with ‘all related parties’, he says

November 03, 2021 07:39 pm | Updated 07:39 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addressing during the COP26 summit, at Glasgow, Scotland.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addressing during the COP26 summit, at Glasgow, Scotland.

India can play a stabilising role in West Asia by maintaining cooperation with “all related parties”, Prime Minister of Palestine Mohammad Shtayyeh has said.

In a statement issued after he met PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday in Glasgow on the sidelines of the COP26 summit, Mr. Shtayyeh said India has a historic tradition of supporting the rights of the Palestinian people and that its technical support should be “parallel to the political support”.

“We look forward to a well-established and distinguished Indian role in Middle East [West Asia] based on the historical perspective of India’s foreign policy, foremost of which is supporting the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital,” said Mr. Shtayyeh.

Role in multilateral organisations

Mr. Shtayyeh said India’s role in multilateral organisations requires “strenuous efforts in cooperation with all related parties to achieve security and stability in the Middle East and West Asia”.

The meeting though on the sidelines of the global summit on environment and climate change is of significance as it comes soon after the four-day visit to Israel by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar . The visit was commented upon widely as it excluded a trip to the Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian leader pointed out that India has an important role to play in the international affairs due to its growing profile.

“We are ready for all forms of cooperation with India which is serving as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the 2021-22 and was re-elected to the Human Rights Council for the 2022-24.” The comments can be interpreted as subtle messages for support in the multilateral platforms.

In recent years, India has broken the tradition of supporting Palestine at the U.N. In 2019, India voted in favour of Israel at the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) to deny observer status to a Palestinian organisation named ‘Shahed’. In June this year, India abstained during the voting on a resolution calling for investigation into Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip at the Human Rights Council which drew strong protest from Foreign Minister Riyad Al Malki who wrote a letter critical of India’s abstention.

Mr. Shtayyeh who attended the COP26 summit earlier made headlines for saying Israeli occupation threatens Palestinian environment.

Threat to Palestinian environment

“We are here to tell the world that the Israeli occupation is the most critical long-term threat to the Palestinian environment,” Mr, Shtayyeh said while reading his comments as the leader of the Palestinian delegation on Monday.

Mr. Modi also met his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett on Tuesday before leaving for New Delhi and invited him to India to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties.

Mr. Shtayye appreciated India’s financial and technical support. “This support must be parallel and complementary with the political support of the Palestinian cause and in a manner that guarantees the implementation of international legitimacy resolutions.”

The meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Shtayyeh is the first between them since February 2018 when Prime Minister Modi visited Palestine months after he paid a standalone visit to Israel.

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