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India backs two-state solution in Palestine

India is deeply concerned at the ongoing conflict in West Asia and support for the Palestinian cause is a central feature of the country's foreign policy.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 14:01 IST

India has reaffirmed its commitment to a negotiated two-state solution agreed between the parties that would result in a viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian state existing side by side with Israel in peace and security.

"We regard the Roadmap, as the framework for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Indian delegate Shatrughan Sinha said during a UN general assembly committee debate on the Palestine issue.

Urging adoption of urgent measures to improve security and the humanitarian and economic conditions of the Palestinian people, he said India supports the call of the UN Secretary-General to consider innovative ways by all sides in order to take steps to fully implement the roadmap.

This would lead to, without delay, a fair, stable and equitable solution to the conflict based on relevant UN resolutions, including Security Council resolutions, Sinha said.

India also welcomed the announcement by the Quartet (the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia) principals in September this year of the continuation and extension of the Temporary International Mechanism to provide a channel for the donor community to extend need-based assistance directly to the Palestinian people.

"We hope that in the months ahead, the Quartet and the regional parties, will help de-escalate the situation, end the cycle of violence and counter-violence and remove restrictions on the normal functioning of the Palestinian economy and society," he said.

This will help create an atmosphere conducive to resuming direct negotiations with a time-bound solution that brings peace to this sorely troubled land, Sinha said.

India had watched with dismay as the reluctance of the international community to deal with the newly elected Palestinian government led to both an almost-complete suspension of international assistance and non-payment of taxes and revenues by Israel to the Palestinian authority.

The result had been an almost total collapse of the Palestinian economy, contributing more frustration and anger to an already volatile situation.

There had been a resumption of rocket attacks and suicide bombings by Palestinian militants in Israeli territory and massive, disproportionate Israeli violence that impacted grievously upon ordinary Palestinians, Sinha noted.

The abduction of an Israeli soldier, and the massive retaliation, including detention of elected representatives, had made it harder for either side to de-escalate the situation.

Daily acts of violence continue to take place almost routinely.

India is deeply concerned at the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Support for the Palestinian cause is a central feature of India's foreign policy.

"Over sixty years of violence convince us that there can be no military solution to the Palestinian issue," Sinha said.

First Published: Nov 09, 2006 13:37 IST