Jaishankar speaks to Palestinian PM, reiterates India's ‘long-standing position’
The external affairs minister and Mohammed Shtayyeh, the Palestinian PM, agreed to remain in touch over the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Saturday held a conversation with Palestinian prime minister Mohmmad Shtayyeh, and reiterated India's ‘long-standing position’ on the Palestine-Israel issue.
“Spoke to Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh this evening. He expressed deep concern on the situation in both Gaza and the West Bank. (I) Reiterated India’s long-standing position on Palestine. (We) Agreed to remain in touch,” Jaishankar posted on X (formerly Twitter).
On October 19, twelve days after the commencement of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, prime minister Narendra Modi, in a conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, too, had reiterated New Delhi's long-standing position on the Palestine-Israel issue.
Earlier, on October 7, the day Hamas carried out attacks inside the Israeli territory, leading to retaliatory strikes by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), prime minister Modi had expressed his ‘deep shock at the news of terrorist attacks in Israel.’
What is India's ‘long-standing position’ on Palestine?
"India always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel. I think that position remains the same," as per an earlier statement by the Ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
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India recognised the State of Palestine in 1988, and was among the first countries to do so. While it enjoys excellent ties with Israel – particularly under PM Modi – there have also been regular high-level visits between New Delhi and Palestine. In October 2015, then President Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit Palestine, and in February 2018, PM Modi became the first Indian prime minister to go there.
In January 2016, then external affairs minister Sushmas Swaraj also went to Palestine. In May 2017, on the other hand, Palestinian President Abbas made his fifth State visit to India; the first four came in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2012.
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