Responding to a question on the stalled dialogue process between Israel and Palestine since September previous year, the Secretary said, “We closely follow developments in Israel and Palestine and we would like tension to come down as it is in their as well as our interest”. He said the country had made tremendous progress.
During the visit, India will augment its efforts to support the capacity building initiatives of Palestine.
During the visit, he will have meetings and interactions with the President Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as the Speaker of the Israeli Parliament, Knesset, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. He also reflects the broadmindedness of Indian culture, Singh said. The last visit by an Indian leader to the country was when former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi visited in 1988.
But the culling of the President’s proposed visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque captures how the Israel-Palestine conflict has cast a shadow on Mukherjee’s trip even before he departs from India, despite New Delhi’s attempts to portray the three legs of his journey as largely unrelated. “Israel has the expertise in dealing with many challenges of the 21st century, which include counterterrorism”, he said.
However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not yet reacted to the incident.
The President also recalled his mother telling him to go to school, a 10 km walk, everyday, which influence his mind to strive hard when there was “no option”.
Israel has become a major arms supplier to India since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992.
In Jerusalem, Mukherjee will address the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
“We have sought help of many friendly countries including Jordan”. From the Jordanian side, His Majesty King Abdullah and Queen Rania had visited India in 2006.
The Home Ministry briefed the Prime Minister’s Office today, after receiving a report from the UP government, which has said that politicization of the issue has led to unrest in the Dadri area.
The statement expressed hope that this visit would further strengthen the bonds of friendship and renew the strong and unwavering commitment of India towards the Palestinian cause.
President Mukherjee will receive an honorary doctorate from the Jordan University and will hold talks with the leaders there.
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