Penn Political Expert Reacts To US Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israeli Capital

Friday, 08 Dec, 2017

"An independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the internationally accepted position".

Even as the political situation in the middle-east is getting more volatile after the United States recognised Jerusalem as Israel's Capital, Palestinian Ambassador in New Delhi Adnan Abu Alhaijaa reportedly told a TV channel that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Palestine but did not elaborate when the visit will take place. In a letter to the UN last week, Modi said India hopes for an early realization of a sovereign independent and united Palestinian state coexisting peacefully with Israel.

He clarified that the state of Palestine without east Jerusalem will not exist and will not be accepted.

But New Delhi's growing ties with Israel after the BJP's ascent to power in May 2014 fuelled speculation about India reviewing its position on Palestine. "It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country", External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday. "No other country in the world has given recognition to Jerusalem as Israel's capital", it said in a statement.

India had supported the resolution sponsored by Arab countries which endorsed the Palestinian stand on Jerusalem in April 2016. In the letter on the occasion of Palestine Solidarity Day, Modi reiterated India's "steadfast support" to the Palestinian cause while recalling India's development assistance to Palestine.

However, since the NDA government assumed office in May 2014, India-Israel ties have gone from strength to strength, with PM Modi paying a stand-alone visit to the Jewish nation in July this year.

The US move evoked sharp criticism not only from the Arab world but also from Europe.

In keeping with India's balanced and independent foreign policy approach, the Modi government, in fact, invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas here in May ahead of the prime minister's trip to Israel.

New Delhi is now set to host Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is likely to visit India next month.