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Bridging The Gap
 India hopes for sovereign, independent and united Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel, PM Narendra Modi tells Abbas
 Tuesday 16 May, 2017
India hopes for sovereign, independent and united Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel, PM Narendra Modi tells Abbas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday conveyed to Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas India's "unwavering support" to the Palestinian cause.

After holding extensive talks with Abbas, PM Modi said India hopes to see a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel.

PM Modi also said that India hopes for an early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli sides so as to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian issue.

"The relationship between India and Palestine is built on the foundation of long-standing solidarity and friendship since the days of our own freedom struggle. India has been unwavering in its support of the Palestinian cause. And ,we hope to see the realization of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel. I have reaffirmed our position on this to President Abbas during our conversation today," PM said.

He added, "We had extensive exchange of views on the situation in West Asia and the Middle East Peace Process. We agreed that the challenges in West Asia must be addressed through sustained political dialogue and peaceful means. India hopes for early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution. At the bilateral level, India is committed to be a useful development partner of Palestine."

PM Modi further said, "President Abbas and I agreed that both sides, through practical cooperation, will work together to build Palestine’s economy and contribute to improving the lives of its people. We will continue to support the development and capacity-building efforts of Palestine. The agreements concluded today are reaffirmation of our intent to strengthen cooperation in this direction."

On his part, Abbas expressed his appreciation for India's continued support and solidarity for the Palestinian cause on international forums.

He said he updated PM Modi on his meeting with US President Donald Trump regarding the Middle East peace process and his talks with his German and Russian counterparts Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Vladimir Putin, respectively, on the issue.

Abbas also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and voiced support for all regional and international efforts to fight this menace.

Earlier in the day, Abbas was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan here following which he paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the visiting dignitary and discussed issues of bilateral interest.

Abbas arrived here on Sunday on a four-day visit to India. This is his fifth visit to India and the third state visit after his visits in 2008 and 2012.

He is being accompanied by a delegation comprising Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr, Foreign Minister Riad Malki, Diplomatic Advisor Majdi Khaldi, Presidency Spokesperson Nabil Aburdeineh and Palestine's Chief Judge Mahmoud Habbash.

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