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“It is an honour for me to welcome President Mahmoud Abbas on his State Visit to India. He is no stranger to India and, indeed, we regard him as a very special friend.
President Abbas and I have held useful discussions aimed at further expanding and strengthening the India-Palestine partnership, which is rooted in history and flows from our national ethos.
Support for the Palestinian cause has been a cornerstone of India’s foreign policy. During our meeting, I reiterated India’s firm support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel.
India had played an active role in supporting the efforts of the State of Palestine to secure full member status at UNESCO. We will continue to support Palestine’s bid for full and equal membership of the United Nations.
We also look forward to early resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis leading to a comprehensive resolution between the two sides.
Bilaterally, India will continue to support the development and nation-building efforts of Palestine. The MOUs signed today are indicative of our commitment to contribute in the areas of Information & Communication Technology, vocational training and education.
The Government of India will also contribute US Dollar 10 million to Palestine’s budget for this year to help address its financial requirements.
Later today, President Mahmoud Abbas will inaugurate the new Palestinian Embassy building, which has been built with Indian support. The building is a symbol of the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples.
President Abbas and I also exchanged views on regional developments, particularly the developments in the West Asian and the Gulf region. There is a great degree of similarity in our views. We both agree that the developments in the region must be addressed through political dialogue and peaceful means without recourse to violence and outside interference, while taking into account the legitimate aspirations of all people.
I look forward to working together with President Mahmoud Abbas to further carry forward our very special bilateral relations.
I now invite President Abbas to make his statement.”