Jaishankar speaks to Palestinian PM Mohammed Shtayyeh, reiterates India's 'longstanding position'
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar engaged in a discussion with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Saturday, reiterating India's longstanding stance on the Palestine-Israel matter.
Jaishankar and Shtayyeh agreed to stay in touch regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“Spoke to Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh this evening. He expressed deep concern about the situation in both Gaza and the West Bank. (I) Reiterated India’s long-standing position on Palestine. (We) Agreed to remain in touch,” Jaishankar posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Spoke to Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh this evening.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) December 9, 2023
He expressed deep concern on the situation in both Gaza and the West Bank. Reiterated India’s long-standing position on Palestine. Agreed to remain in touch.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also engaged with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on October 19, 12 days after the Israel-Hamas war started, and reiterated India’s enduring position on the Palestine-Israel issue.
The Israel-Hamas war started on October 7 after the Islamic militant group that controls the Palestinian enclave of Gaza launched a surprise rocket attack.
Prime Minister Modi had expressed his deep shock at the news of terrorist attacks in Israel when Hamas launched attacks inside Israeli territory, prompting retaliatory strikes by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF),
"India always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel. I think that position remains the same," as per an earlier statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
India and Palestine have a history of friendly ties, right from 1988 when the State of Palestine was formed. India was among the first countries to recognise the country.
While maintaining strong relations with Israel, especially under PM Modi's leadership, New Delhi has also witnessed regular high-level visits by the Palestinian leadership.
In October 2015, then-President Pranab Mukherjee made history as the first Indian President to visit Palestine.
In February 2018, PM Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the region.
In January 2016, then-External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also travelled to Palestine.
In May 2017, Palestinian President Abbas made his fifth state visit to India, with the previous visits occurring in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2012.
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