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Support to Palestine is categorical, says India

world Updated: Sep 24, 2011 01:45 IST
Varghese K George

India extended "categorical" support to Palestinian claims for a full membership of the United Nations on the eve of the much-awaited address of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the UN general assembly (UNGA).

The US has been engaging Abbas in hectic diplomatic negotiations to persuade him to back out from the demand for full membership as its key ally Israel has vehemently opposed the move.

Addressing the general assembly, President Barack Obama said the Palestinian issue cannot be resolved by UN speeches and resolutions.

Though the US has not said it would veto the proposal, Indian assessment is that the US will, if things come to that.

With the US domestic politics putting the Obama administration in a tight spot on the question, the president is trying to avoid a showdown, said Indian diplomats keeping track of the developments.

Efforts are on to persuade the PA to settle for a non-member observer state, an enhancement from its current status of non-member entity.

Offering categorical support to membership for PA, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri recalled that India was among the first non-Arab country to recognise the Palestinian state.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has arrived in New York for the high level segment of the 66th UNGA will address the UNGA on 24th and he is likely to touch upon issues ranging from international terrorism to reforms of UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, external affairs minister SM Krishna, who is also in New York, attended a meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation foreign ministers, a symposium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the

African National Congress and meeting on the New Silk Road - between Afghanistan, Germany, India and the United States