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PM Narendra Modi will visit Palestine, says envoy Alihaijaa

The announcement comes on a day when the UNSC convenes an emergency meeting after Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2017 21:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Palestine,Jerusalem
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Palestine, its envoy Adnan A Alihaijaa said on Thursday without elaborating when it will take place.

His announcement came on a day when the United Nations Security Council convened an emergency meeting on Friday after US President Donald Trump, in a controversial move, recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He planned to shift US embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv. Many Arab leaders warned that the controversial decision could trigger an upheaval in the already volatile Middle East.

Read | US recognition of Jerusalem: India says position on Palestine consistent

“Maybe I announce it here (in the show) and let you all know before everyone else Mr Modi will visit Palestine. I am told this is a reaction to the very action that has happened,” the envoy said during a discussion on Rajya Sabha TV on Thursday.

The external affairs ministry didn’t make any response to the ambassador’s comment.

“We are not aware of any planned visit at this moment. However, it would be inappropriate on our part to react to the comments made by the ambassador at this juncture,” said a government official who didn’t want to be named.

The ambassador didn’t give a time frame for the PM’s visit, leaving the officials surprised as such visits are announced in public only when the dates are finalised.

Participating in a discussion on the channel, Alihaijaa said India has been supportive of the Palestinian cause and the two-state solution.

In July, Modi became the first prime minister of India to visit Israel but he had made a departure from the tradition of Indian leaders visiting Palestine.

Reacting to the US’ announcement recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, India said its position on Palestine is independent, consistent and not determined by any third country.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India’s position on Palestine is shaped by its own views and interests and not determined by any third country.

“India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country,” he said responding to a query regarding India’s position on recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the US.

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 20:27 IST