NEW DELHI: India, in its first reaction on US President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as capital of Israel, said today that its position on Palestine is independent and not determined by any third country.
“India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
President Trump on Wednesday recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and also started on a plan to move the embassy from Tel Aviv, overturning decades of US policy and sparking fears of fresh violence in the Middle East. Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East have condemned the move as incendiary in a volatile region and Palestinians say Washington is abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator.
The development is seen to leave India, friends with both Palestine and Israel, in a sort of diplomatic dilemma.
India has historically supported the Palestinian cause, and its statements have always referred to East Jerusalem as being the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Earlier this year, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on India’s support for an independent Palestinian state in a joint statement but did not mention East Jerusalem.
Since 1992, New Delhi’s ties with Tel Aviv have been steadily warming and this year, PM Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel.