“India strongly supports Palestine”: says PM Modi, and meets Saudi Crown Prince

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United Nations – Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi said on Thursday that India strongly supports Palestinian state and the struggle of Palestinians to establish a separate and independent sovereign Palestinian state, and reiterated the Two State solution proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, before meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in G20 summit held in Argentina.

Modi said, “I wish to convey India’s strong support for the Palestinian cause and to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people in their efforts to establish a sovereign, independent and united State of Palestine co-existing peacefully with the State of Israel,” while addressing gathering on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian people.

“Our financial and technical assistance is an expression of our strong resolve to strengthen Palestinian institutions,” Modi added.

Later on Friday, he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to establish strong cultural, economic, and energy ties.

Modi tweeted, “Had a fruitful interaction with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. We discussed multiple aspects of India-Saudi Arabia relations and ways to further boost economic, cultural and energy ties.”

“In recent years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a valuable partner. The relationship has expanded beyond the Indian community to issues related to the economy, energy and security. All issues of bilateral and regional interest will be discussed,” Prime Minister Office said.

India has maintained strong relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE, which made it criticize US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, within hours of Donald Trump declaring embassy move to Jerusalem in December 2017.

“India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on 7 December 2017.

India has increased annual scholarships for Palestinian students, and will be building a specialty hospital for Palestinians, and it has also increased in its annual contribution to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

Irrespective of the ruling party, India has provided 150 places for Palestinian professionals every year in its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme.