No dilution in India’s support to Palestinian cause: UN committee on Palestine

India has remained “steadfast” in its support for Palestinian rights and has consistently voted in favour of Palestine at the United Nations on “15 key resolutions” said members of a key UN body, who called for New Delhi to play an “enhanced” role in the search for a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Participants in a four-member delegation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable rights of the Palestinian People said that during their discussions with External Affairs minister S. Jaishankar, the government had reiterated its traditional stand on the issue.

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“We would like countries like India that have good relations with both Israel and Palestine, and are also attached to multilateral principles, to play a bigger role in the resolution of the issue,” Cheikh Niang, Chairman of the committee, who visited Delhi this week told reporters.

Mr. Niang explained that part of the reason for the first such country visit by the panel was that India is expected to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2021-22.

When asked about India’s recent votes that appeared to support Israel, including one at the UN’s ECOSOC in June 2019 which ended the consultative status for a Palestinian NGO that Israel claimed had terror links, the committee members said those actions were not reflective of India’s stand on the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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They pointed to several other votes by India, including the UN General Assembly vote that had sharply criticised the United States for recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in December 2017. India had also voted in favour of another UNGA resolution “deploring the use of excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians” in June 2018.

“The best way to test India’s commitment is the way India votes,” Mr. Niang told The Hindu. “India has consistently voted in favour of those resolutions that promote the two-state solution with a Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem. We have not seen any weakening of the position, and we reinforced this during our meeting [with the MEA].”

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