Following is the text
of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement to media after
delegation level talks with Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of
Palestine in New Delhi today :
“It is an honour for me to welcome President Mahmoud Abbas on his State
Visit to India. He is no stranger to India and, indeed, we regard him as
a very special friend.
President Abbas and I have held useful discussions aimed at further
expanding and strengthening the India-Palestine partnership, which is
rooted in history and flows from our national ethos.
Support for the Palestinian cause has been a cornerstone of India’s
foreign policy. During our meeting, I reiterated India’s firm support
for the struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve a sovereign,
independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as
its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side
and at peace with Israel.
India had played an active role in supporting the efforts of the State
of Palestine to secure full member status at UNESCO. We will continue to
support Palestine’s bid for full and equal membership of the United
We also look forward to early resumption of peace talks between the
Palestinians and Israelis leading to a comprehensive resolution between
the two sides.
Bilaterally, India will continue to support the development and
nation-building efforts of Palestine. The MOUs signed today are
indicative of our commitment to contribute in the areas of Information &
Communication Technology, vocational training and education.
The Government of India will also contribute US Dollar 10 million to
Palestine’s budget for this year to help address its financial
Later today, President Mahmoud Abbas will inaugurate the new Palestinian
Embassy building, which has been built with Indian support. The building
is a symbol of the enduring friendship between our two countries and our
President Abbas and I also exchanged views on regional developments,
particularly the developments in the West Asian and the Gulf region.
There is a great degree of similarity in our views. We both agree that
the developments in the region must be addressed through political
dialogue and peaceful means without recourse to violence and outside
interference, while taking into account the legitimate aspirations of
I look forward to working together with President Mahmoud Abbas to
further carry forward our very special bilateral relations.
I now invite President Abbas to make his statement.”