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MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA UPON...
Home ›  Press Releases  ›  MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA UPON THE CONCLUSION OF HIS STATE VISIT TO JORDAN, PALESTINE AND ISRAEL EN ROUTE FROM TELAVIV TO NEW DELHI

MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA UPON THE CONCLUSION OF HIS STATE VISIT TO JORDAN, PALESTINE AND ISRAEL EN ROUTE FROM TELAVIV TO NEW DELHI

Rashtrapati Bhavan : 16.10.2015

Following is the full text of the statement to media by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee upon the conclusion of his State visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel (from October 10 to 15, 2015). The statement was made on board the aircraft during the President's return to New Delhi from Telaviv yesterday (October 15, 2015):

" I have just concluded successful state visits to Jordan, Palestine and Israel from October 10-15, 2015. My delegation included Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment and six Members of Parliament representing major political parties, namely, Prof. K.V. Thomas, Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi, Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Shri Prathap Simha, Shri Vinod Chavda and Dr. Anupam Hazra. Senior officials of Rashtrapathi Bhavan, MEA, MHRD, Vice Chancellors of JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia, Director, IIT Kharagpur and Director, Cluster Innovation Centre, Delhi University were also part of my delegation.

My visits to Jordan, Palestine and Israel were first ever visits by an Indian President. They reflect the importance that India places on enhancing our partnership with countries of this region, which is our extended neighbourhood. I took the opportunity to brief the leaderships of these countries on the initiatives of our Government in various fields and to explore possiblities of enhanced cooperation in bilateral, regional and international context.

Jordan

India has close, warm and cordial relations with Jordan. We admire the leadership of His Majesties Late King Hussein and King Abdullah II that has ensured Jordan's continued progress despite many challenges. During the visit, I held meetings with His Majesty King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour of Jordan. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser S. Judeh called on me. We discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern. In all my meetings, I found a significant convergence of mutual interests and a genuine deep-seated desire for closer cooperation.

We explored possibilities of opening up new synergies in different areas of mutual interest including counter terrorism, defence, IT, and energy. HM King Abdullah II expressed his keen desire to encourage Indian companies to work with the Jordanian ICT companies. 16 MoUs and Agreements, including between academic institutions were finalised. A major avenue in Amman was named after Mahatma Gandhi during my visit.

King Abdullah II supported India's candidature to permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council and the ongoing UN reform process. King Abdullah II and I inaugurated a US$ 860 million project of Jordan-India Fertilizer Co., a joint venture between IFFCO and the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company to produce phosphoric acid for export to India. In response to my appeal, King Abdullah II expressed willingness to enter into long-term arrangements for supply of phosphates to India from Jordan as well as establish more JVs to meet demand of phosphoric acid, rock phosphate and DAP. I announced a Line of Credit of US $ 100 million to Jordan as Project Assistance and increase of the number of ITEC slots from 30 to 50. I invited their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania to pay a State visit to India at the earliest opportunity, which was accepted graciously.

Palestine

In Palestine, I was received with great warmth and affection by President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah and leaders of major political parties. President Abbas briefed me about the evolving situation in Israel-Palestine relations and emphasised that they were seeking a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian issue.

I reiterated India's principled support to the Palestinian cause and called for 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 at peace with Israel as endorsed in the Quartet Roadmap and relevant UNSC Resolutions.

President Abbas appreciated our support and thanked me profusely for staying overnight in Ramallah, being the first Head of State from any country to do so. He respectfully described us as 'brothers' and not just friends. He assured me that they were seekers of peace following in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. He conveyed his conviction that non-violence is the only way for Palestine to realize it's dream of an independent Palestinian State.

I announced increase of ICCR scholarships from 10 to 25 per annum and ITEC slots from 50 to 100 for Palestine. We handed over a cheque worth US$ 5 million as budgetary support to the Palestinian authority.

I paid floral tributes at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi placed at the Garden of Nations in Ramallah and inaugurated along with President Abbas a roundabout named 'Maidan Al Hind'. I paid tributes at the Mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, who was a good friend of India and whom I had met personally on several occasions. I inaugurated the India-Palestine Center for Excellence in ICT in the Al Quds University and announced India's decision to build one more India-Palestine Center for Excellence in ICT in Gaza with similar aims and objectives at an estimated cost of US$ 1 million. I announced Government of India's decision to set up an IT park in Ramallah at an estimated cost of US$ 12 million and a Palestinian Institute of Diplomacy at an estimated cost of US$ 4.5 million.

The India-Palestine Higher Education Roundtable was held between premier institutions of our two countries and establishment of an Indian Chair in Al Quds University announced. In all, six MOUs and Agreements were signed during the visit. I invited President Abbas to visit India and he assured me of doing so at an early date.

Israel

In Israel, I was received with great warmth and friendship by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Speaker of Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. We reviewed our multidimensional relations and explored ways and means to enhance them for the mutual benefit of our two countries. I was deeply honoured to be invited to address the Knesset and touched by the enthusiasm I found amongst Members of Parliament for better relations with India. I along with our Members of Parliament had a detailed interaction with Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog and his colleagues.

I visited Mt. Herzl and paid my respects to victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, the World Centre for Holocaust Research, where I was accompanied by President Rivlin. I also placed a wreath at the tomb of Theodor Herzl.

I described Israel as one of the most important countries for India and conveyed the need for our two countries to reinvigorate bilateral ties in all areas of our engagement. Israel has provided defence equipment, platforms and systems at a time when India needed them the most.We discussed the need to expand cooperation in solar energy, dairy development, water management, horticulture, animal husbandry and agriculture as well as cooperation between Indian Space Research Organization and Israeli Space Agency. PM Netanyahu and I discussed new possibilities and synergies to diversify our trade as well as mutual investments. I informed the Israeli leadership about various initiatives taken by the Government of India like 'Make in India', 'Digital India', 'Clean Ganga', 'Smart Cities', 'Start-up India', etc. and invited investment as well as participation by Israeli companies.

I invited President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit India. President Rivlin accepted my invitation and confirmed his intention to do so at an early date. I also invited Israeli Parliamentarians to come to India and engage with their Indian counterparts.

Nobel Prize winner and former Israeli President as well as Prime Minister, Shimon Peres called on me as an old friend. He described my visit as one carrying hope and peace. He said India with its democracy and multi cultural society is a model to Israel and all other countries.

Two agreements were signed between the Governments. Eight MoUs were also exchanged between educational institutions of India and Israel. These will promote cooperation in the field of higher education between the two countries and provide for joint research, exchange of scholars, etc.

In public remarks, I expressed distress at recent incidents of violence, condemned all forms of terrorism and called for peaceful resolution of all disputes.

Honorary Doctorates were conferred upon me by leading Universities of all three countries, the University of Jordan, the Al Quds University and the Hebrew University, which I accepted in humility as symbol of their friendship and regard for India. I also addressed the Indian community as well as friends of India in Amman and Jerusalem.

I thank my hosts in Jordan, Palestine and Israel for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation. These visits have helped deepen our mutually beneficial relations. I return with the conviction that the governments of all the three countries are keen to take relations with India to much higher levels. India will actively work towards enhancing our partnership with Jordan, Palestine and Israel in the days to come" .

 
 
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