‘India continues to stand by Palestinians’

May 19th, 2008 - 12:50 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) India continues to support the cause of Palestinians and favours the creation of a separate state of Palestine, a central minister has said. While addressing a public meeting here Sunday to express solidarity with the Palestinians, Union Minister for Urban Development S. Jaipal Reddy said there was no change in India’s stand on the Middle East conflict and the government would continue the policy adopted since the times of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

He added that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had not entered into any new agreement with Israel but was only implementing the pacts entered into by previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The meeting was organised by the Indo-Arab League, a city-based organization working for promotion of Indo-Arab ties for last four decades.

Reddy said he regretted that in that past 60 years Palestinians had been subjected to injustice and termed it inhuman that “lakhs of Palestinians had lost their lives. With the economic blockade, lakhs more were suffering from hunger”.

The minister felt that the only solution to the conflict lay in the creation of a separate state of Palestine.

Even as Palestinian Ambassador Osama Musa thanked India for its continued support, the leaders of the communist parties, outside supporters of the UPA, came down heavily on the coalition government for a pro-Israel and pro-US tilt in its foreign policy.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan urged the government to stand by Palestine in a more pro-active fashion while cutting down on friendship with Israel. He alleged that it was a departure from the policies of Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

He wondered how India was buying Israeli arms on one hand while expressing solidarity with Palestine. He claimed that India was the largest purchaser of arms from Israel.

Bardhan also pointed an Indian rocket had put an Israeli satellite in orbit recently, which alleged was being used to spy on Arab countries.

Communist Party of India-Marxist MP Mohammed Saleem said that by joining hands with Israel, India had become a party of its unholy conspiracy. He demanded that India pull out of all agreements with Israel.

Chief of Arab States Mission in India, Ahmed Salem Saleh Al-Wahishi, said Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories was adding to the miseries of Palestinians. He accused Israel of trying to change the history and geography of the region and damage Al-Aqsa mosque.

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