PM Narendra Modi to visit Jerusalem, says Palestine envoy

Musa AL SHAER

"India's position on Palestine is independent and consistent", said the ministry of external affairs spokesperson.

Donald Trump's declaration broke with decades of USA policy, set off a wave of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, and drew sharp criticism from United States allies in the Middle East and beyond.Israel has long considered Jerusalem its capital - which it sees as the ancient capital of the Jewish people - but Palestine equally lay claim to the city.

He clarified that the state of Palestine without east Jerusalem will not exist and will not be accepted. It is presumed that Modi could visit Palestine early next year as he plans yet another trip to the Gulf region including UAE next February.

It may be recalled that then President Pranab Mukherjee visited Jordan, Israel and Palestine in 2015.

India had supported the resolution sponsored by Arab countries which endorsed the Palestinian stand on Jerusalem in April 2016.

India, the first non-Arab country to recognise Palestinian statehood in 1988, has adopted a guarded position compared to much of the worldwide community that has come out unequivocally against President Donald Trump's decision to shift the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) Director Alberto Ibarguen Sells 4229 Shares
State of Tennessee Treasury Department raised its position in shares of American Airlines Group by 33.5% during the 2nd quarter. The airline reported $1.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts' consensus estimates of $1.40 by $0.02.

Israel views Jerusalem as its undivided capital.

His message on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 25 last or India's statement to UN General Assembly on November 29 last, too, did not refer to the call for East Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine. The MEA had also organised a seminar espousing India's support to the Palestinian issue on the same day. PM Modi had skipped Palestine during his visit to Israel in July. "We are looking for a different body to look after the peace process".

In keeping with India's balanced and independent foreign policy approach, the Modi government, in fact, invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas here in May ahead of the prime minister's trip to Israel. The Arab world will obviously keep a close eye on the visit.

India enjoys close ties with both Israel and Palestine.

New Delhi has traditionally supported the Palestinian cause even as it opened diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992.

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