India has expressed hope that Palestine's enhanced status at the UN will pave the way for resumption of "serious and direct" talks with Israel as it voiced concern that the continued impasse between the two parties over settlement activities threaten the two-state solution.
India was among the 138 nations that voted in favour of Palestine at a historic UN General Assembly vote that upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority to non-member observer state from an entity.
The US and Israel and were among only nine nations in the 193-member UN body that voted against Palestine in Thursday's vote.
"We hope that the vote in the General Assembly will pave the way for the resumption of serious, direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said at a General Assembly session here yesterday on the 'Question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East.'
Puri regretted that while democratic aspirations of people in several Arab countries was being addressed through national political processes over the last two years, the Palestinian question and related Arab-Israeli issues remained largely un-addressed and unresolved.
"For more than two years now, there have been no direct talks between Israel and Palestine. Meanwhile, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories has been deteriorating due to settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem," Puri said.
"These activities are creating new realities on the ground, and threaten the very premise of a two-state solution," he said.