United Nations, Sep 27 (IANS) Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reiterated India’s support to the Palestinian cause while asserting New Delhi’s backing for a two-state solution to the conflict in West Asia.
Speaking at a meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on Palestine here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session on Wednesday, Sushma Swaraj recalled the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Palestine in February, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, and described it as a “historic occasion”.
“During the visit, the Prime Minister announced a substantial upscaling of our development partnership efforts in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” she said.
“India is investing in projects of healthcare, educational infrastructure, women empowerment and a printing press, in addition to other capacity building programmes.”
Sushma Swaraj said that development partnership projects in Palestine worth around $70 million are under implementation during the last five years.
“These include flagship projects like the super-specialty hospital in Beit Sahour and the India-Palestine Technology Park, which was inaugurated last year in Ramallah,” she stated.
She said that India’s longstanding friendship with Palestine is built around three core dimensions: solidarity with Palestinian people; steadfast support to the Palestinian cause; and development partnership to assist nation building and capacity building efforts.
Sushma Swaraj also mentioned India’s increasing of its contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East from $1.25 million to $5 million annually.
“A negotiated two-state solution remains the only viable solution to the issue to bring sustainable peace and lasting security,” she said.
Calling for restraint and moderation from all sides, she stated: “The stagnation since the collapse of talks four years ago and the deterioration in the security situation continues to cause serious concern. We hope for an early resumption of talks between Israel and Palestine that can move towards finding out a comprehensive resolution of the issue.”
The NAM Ministerial Committee on Palestine was established under India’s Presidency during the Seventh NAM Summit in New Delhi in 1983.