Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar
File Photo

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Sunday greeted Palestine's foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki on the occasion of "Declaration of Independence Day", vowing that "India remains supportive to the aspirations of Palestinians in their pursuit of statehood, peace and prosperity."

The Declaration of Independence Day is marked on November 15 every year as late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had declared the independence of the State of Palestine on this day in 1988.

"Greetings to FM Dr. Riyad Al-Maliki and the Government and people of the State of Palestine on their Declaration of Independence Day. India remains supportive to the aspirations of Palestinians in their pursuit of statehood, peace and prosperity," Jaishankar tweeted.

On November 15, 1988, Arafat had declared independece at a meeting of the Palestinian National Council, the Palestinian parliament in exile, which convened in the Algerian capital Algiers.

"In the name of God and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people, the National Council declares the creation of the State of Palestine on our Palestinian land with noble Jerusalem as its capital," Arafat declared, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The statement was written by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and was read aloud by Arafat after it was adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

In April 1989, Yasser Arafat was elected as the first President of the State of Palestine by the PLO Central Council. Following the declaration, many Arab nations and other countries recognised Palestine as a State. It was also an official acceptance by the PLO for the two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

India has friendly relations with both Israel and Palestine and a strong proponent of two-state solution. In September, India welcomed the signing of agreements by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to establish formal ties with Israel, and said it has always supported peace and stability in West Asia.

The UAE and Bahrain became the first Arab countries to normalise ties with Israel without a resolution of its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians who are demanding a separate state.

"We have followed the Abraham accords signed in Washington DC by UAE, Bahrain, Israel and the US. As I have said earlier, India has always supported peace and stability in West Asia which is our extended neighbourhood," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

Srivastava also said India continues its "traditional support" for the Palestinian cause, and hopes for early resumption of direct negotiations for an acceptable "two-state solution".

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