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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Asoke Kumar...
Home ›  Press Releases  ›  Statement by H.E. Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India on Agenda Item 36 - 'Question of Palestine' at the United Nations General Assembly on November 24, 2014

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India on Agenda Item 36 - 'Question of Palestine' at the United Nations General Assembly on November 24, 2014

Madam President,

1.Thank you, for convening this important discussion on the Question of Palestine at the General Assembly.

Madam President,

2. We are marking the International day of solidarity with the Palestinian People. On this important occasion, let me reiterate India's unwavering support for the just cause of Palestine and solidarity with the Palestinian people for their struggle. Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has today sent a Message on this occasion which reaffirms this support and solidarity.

Madam President,

3. Our civilizational links and historical bonds with the Palestinian people span centuries. We have, therefore, a clear understanding of their struggle and an unwavering sympathy for their cause. India's position on the Palestinian question was inspired by its own freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi,  who supported rights of Palestinian people. Since then, India's commitment to the Palestinian cause has been a core feature of its foreign policy.

Madam President,

4. India supports a negotiated solution, resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel, as endorsed in the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet road map and relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Madam President,

5. The suffering of the people in Gaza persists in the aftermath of this summer's conflict which resulted in tragic loss of civilian lives, especially women and children and extensive destruction of houses and infrastructure.  It is important that the blockade on Gaza should be fully lifted and humanitarian supplies and desperately-needed materials for reconstruction allowed in without restrictions.

6. We are deeply concerned about rising tensions in East Jerusalem. The imperative need is for urgent de-escalation, for restraint, for avoidance of provocation and for a return to the peace process. Diplomacy and statesmanship have to prevail over hatred and violence; there is no other road to a lasting peace.

Madam President,

7. Apart from strong political support to the Palestinian cause, India continues to support the development and nation-building efforts of Palestine by consistently extending technical and financial assistance to Palestine.  It also contributes US$ 1 million annually to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near  East (UNRWA).  India has recently pledged US$ 4 million in response to the National Early Recovery & Reconstruction Plan for Gaza.  We are also implementing development projects in Palestine, jointly with Brazil and South Africa within the framework of IBSA, and have pledged US$ 1 million for a new project to reconstruct the Atta Habib medical centre in Gaza.

Madam President,

8. Mahatma Gandhi once said-  'An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind'. The need of hour is to listen to his wise words and eschew hatred and violence. We firmly believe that dialogue is the only viable option in the search for a just, durable and comprehensive peaceful solution of the Palestinian issue. We hope that both sides will demonstrate the necessary political will to return to the negotiating table and resume dialogue.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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