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External Affairs Minister's intervention in the NAM Ministerial Meeting on Palestine (September 19, 2017)

September 19, 2017

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished members of the NAM movement,
Members of the NAM Ministerial Committee on Palestine,


It is a personal honor for me to be here today. India’s support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause is historical, going back to a period before our own independence.

For independent India, support for the Palestinian cause has been a reference point of its foreign policy.

This NAM Committee, whose meeting we are attending today, will always have a special place for my country. It was during our Chairmanship of the Movement in 1983 that it was first set up.

Mr. Chairman,

India’s commitment to the Palestinian cause and our solidarity with the Palestinian people can never be undermined.

I strongly believe that India’s expanding relations in the region with all nations will only strengthen the Palestinian cause.

During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Israel in July this year to mark 25 years of our diplomatic relations, we reiterated the need for a just and durable peace in the region.

The path to this clearly lies in an early negotiated solution between Israel and Palestine based on mutual recognition and security arrangements.

Mr. Chairman,

It is a matter of great personal satisfaction for me that over the last two years the tempo of our partnership with the Palestinian people has been significantly stepped up. In January 2016 during my visit to the Palestinian territories, I along with H.E. Riyad Maliki took the decision to establish for the first time ever a Ministerial level Joint Commission to better manage our cooperation activities. The first meeting of the Commission was held in November that year. In May 2017, India had the honor of receiving H.E President Mahmoud Abbas on a State Visit.

We have through these high-level engagements continuously tried to expand our bilateral cooperation even further, to help strengthen the economy in the Palestinian territories and improve the lives of the people living there.

During the State Visit of President Abbas agreements for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, information technology, health and in youth affairs & sport were signed. We also took the decision to set up an information technology park in Ramallah that can serve as an information technology training and service providing hub.

Mr. Chairman,

The UNGA mandated UN Relief and Works Agency or UN-R-W-A has been delivering valuable public services to Palestinian refugees around the world. India has been voluntarily contributing to the UNRWA for several years. In 2016, we contributed 1.25 million dollars towards its budget, and we are committed to maintaining this support on a ‘multiple-year basis’.

Mr. Chairman,

Many more of us in this Movement can, based on our capacities, contribute to this valuable organization.

I can think of no better way to manifest in a practical manner, NAM solidarity for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

New York
September 19, 2017

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