India offers to play role in achieving Middle East peace

December 1st, 2011 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh United Nations, Dec 1 (IANS) Underlining the importance of the West Asian region to the international community, India has expressed its readiness to play a supportive role to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

A cradle of human civilisation, the region is home to nearly five million Indians and is an important source for India’s energy needs, India’s Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri noted during a discussion on “The situation in the Middle East” in the UN General Assembly Wednesday.

“As a nation with age-old historic and cultural ties with the Middle East, India has an abiding interest in the early resolution of all pending issues that have troubled the region since the inception of the United Nations,” he said.

Noting that India has been steadfast in its support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, Puri reiterated India’s backing for Palestine’s full membership of the UN.

“We remain convinced that Palestine meets all criteria for UN membership as set out in the UN Charter and deserves to become a full-fledged member of this organisation. We hope that the Council will be able to support this soon,” he said.

For peace and security on the ground, however, it is necessary that direct talks between Israel and Palestine resume without any further delay, Puri said.

Recalling that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told the General Assembly last September that societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force, he said: “Observance of the rule of law is as important in international affairs as it is within countries.”

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