NEW DELHI, September 11, 2012 (WAFA) - India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday, in a joint press conference with President Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi, reiterated India’s full support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve a sovereign and independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders side by side and in peace with Israel.
He said that support of the Palestinian cause has been always part of the Indian foreign policy. “India has played an active role in supporting the efforts of the state of Palestine to secure full member ship status at UNESCO” and “We will continue to support Palestine’s full and equal membership at the United Nations.”
Singh said that he looks forward to the resumption of peace talk between Palestinians and Israelis, leading to a comprehensive resolution between the two sides.
He announced that the government of India will contribute $10 million to PA’s budget to help address the Palestinian financial crisis.
He said: “Abbas and I have held useful discussions to expand and strengthen Indian-Palestinian partnership.”
They signed memorandums of understanding in support of the development of Palestine prior to the conference. “The memorandums we signed today are indicator of our commitment to contribute in the area of information and communication technology, vocational training and education,” said Singh.
He added: “Abbas will inaugurate later today the new Palestinian embassy building built with Indian support. The building is a symbol of the longstanding and ongoing friendship between the two countries and the two peoples.”
The premier said that he and Abbas agreed that the developments in the region must be addressed through political dialogue and peaceful means without violence and outside interference.”
On his part, Abbas commended India’s ongoing support to the Palestinians, saying: “India stood tall and shoulder to shoulder with us since the very early beginning of the Palestine problem.”
Abbas told the premier that PA will begin consultations with all Geo-political groups at the UN fairly soon, in order to draft a resolution to the General Assembly to upgrade Palestine’s status to a non-member state.
Abbas expressed appreciation to the Prime Minister and people of India for their relentless efforts to support the just cause of Palestinian’s independence, including the vote for Palestine in UNESCO, and the support for Palestine at the UN.
He briefed the Prime Minister of the latest developments of the Peace Process. “We remain committed to the two-state solution on 1967 borders and to the negotiations, so Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital can live side by side with the State of Israel in Peace and security.”
He said, regarding the illegal Israeli practices against Palestinians, “In 1938, our and your great leader Mahatma Ghandi wrote to Professor Martin Bauber: “What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.” “What is going on in Palestine today, 2012, still cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct; Settlement activities, settlers’ violence and terror, fait accompli policies vis-à-vis occupied East Jerusalem, practices that include, killing of civilians, torching of Mosques, Churches, trees and homes,” adding that the Israeli government continues to refuse the release of more than 5000 Palestinian prisoners, including those who were arrested before 1993.
“We continue our State institution building, improve our economic situation and maintain law and order, despite the Israeli occupation practices that strangle and suffocate us, and our dire financial situation,” said Abbas.
He added “we signed three agreements to build schools in Palestine to train Palestinians in the fields of technology and high technology.”Abbas extended an invitation to the prime minister to visit Palestine.