India today announced a USD 10 million contribution to Palestine and pledged its support to Palestine's bid for full and equal membership of the UN.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held comprehensive talks on host of bilateral issues and exchanged views on regional developments, particularly the developments in the West Asia and the Gulf region.
Three pacts, including one in the field of Information Technology, were also inked after the talks.
"Support for the Palestinian cause has been a cornerstone of India's foreign policy. 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," Singh said at a joint-press event with Abbas.
The Prime Minister said India supported an independent Palestine living within secure and recognised borders, side-by-side and at peace with Israel. He also announced that India will "contribute USD 10 million to Palestine's budget for this year to help address its financial requirements."
Singh noted that India had played an active role in supporting the efforts of the State of Palestine to secure full membership status at UNESCO. "We will continue to support Palestine's bid for full and equal membership of the UN." he said.
"We also look forward to early resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis leading to a comprehensive resolution between the two sides," he said.
Singh's remark comes in the backdrop of the US making it clear that it will veto the Palestine bid for a non-member status in the United Nations later this month. At present, Palestinians only enjoy observer status.
"We continue to make clear that we believe that the only realistic path for the Palestinians to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations," the Prime Minister said.