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Israel removes India from FM's speech

Even as it faced a barrage of global criticism over a commando raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, Israel today clarified that it regretted the reference to India as one of the countries in which violent incidents were ignored by the international community.

delhi Updated: Jun 02, 2010 21:01 IST

Even as it faced a barrage of global criticism over a commando raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, Israel on Wednesday clarified that it regretted the reference to India as one of the countries in which violent incidents were ignored by the international community.

"The reference to India in the statement on the discussion between Foreign Minister (Avigdor) Liberman and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was inadvertent, and has been removed from the official MFA (ministry of foreign affairs) Internet site," a clarification issued by the Israel embassy in New Delhi said.

"Israel greatly values the friendship and strength of relations with India," it added.

The Israeli foreign minister had, in a statement, criticized the United Nations Security Council condemning his country for the raid early Monday on the flotilla that left 10 people dead.

Lieberman told Ban that while the international community remained silent during the past month when "500 people were killed in various incidents in Thailand, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and India," Israel "was condemned for taking a clear defensive action".

Earlier, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash had expressed New Delhi's position that "there can be no justification for such indiscriminate use of force, which we condemn".

"It is our firm conviction that lasting peace and security in the region can be achieved only through peaceful dialogue and not through use of force," he said.

Indian political parties have also been quick to condemn the Israeli raid - not just the Left parties, but also the ruling Congress party.

Israel is one of India's largest defence and economic partners. India is among Israel's top 10 economic partner countries.