India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, conveyed felicitations to his Palestinian counterpart, Foreign Minister Dr. Riad Maliki, and the entire Government and people of Palestine on the occasion of their declaration of Independence Day.
Dr Jaishankar highlighted the ‘friendship and robust development partnership between India and Palestine’. In his statement, he emphasized the deep-rooted bond that has stood the test of time, reinforcing the shared values and historical ties that bind the two nations.
“Felicitations to FM Dr. Riad Maliki and the Government and people of Palestine on their declaration of independence day. Value our long-standing friendship and development partnership,” stated Dr. Jaishankar, underlining the importance of fostering strong ties between the two states.
November 10, India reiterated the need for a two-state solution to end the current Israel-Palestinian crisis.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra added that India had proposed the “two-state solution and early resumption of dialogue” as a way forward in dealing with the crisis.
Earlier, on October 12, India’s foreign ministry issued a statement reiterating New Delhi’s position in support of establishing a “sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel.”
At the United Nations General Assembly, however, India abstained from voting on a resolution calling for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, marking a departure from its usual stance.
Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar defended the decision. He stated, “If you ask any average Indian, terrorism is an issue which is very close to people’s heart because very few countries and societies have suffered terrorism as much as we have.”
In 1947, India opposed the creation of the state of Israel at the UN and later recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 1970s. However, diplomatic ties with Israel were only established in 1992, and the relationship expanded, particularly in the security realm, after the 1999 conflict with Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel in 2017 and reciprocal visits by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marked a significant deepening of ties. Both Tel Aviv and New Delhi called the meetings a “marriage made in heaven.”
Modi visited the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah weeks after Netanyahu’s visit. During talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Modi expressed India’s hope for a sovereign and independent Palestine in a peaceful atmosphere, stating, “India hopes that Palestine soon becomes a sovereign and independent country.”