AIR spotlight summary on “India-Palestine Bilateral Relations”.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited three west Asian countries. The most significant part was his visit to Ramallah, which serves as the de factoadministrative capital of the Palestin Modi was accorded the highest honour given to a foreign dignitary, the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’. This shows that the Indian effort towards Palestinian cause has been acknowledged.
Significance of the Visit
- This visitis being touted as ‘historic’ because Modi is the first Indian PM to visit the state of Palestine. The visit signals India’s strategy to grow ties with Israel and Palestine separately. The Ramallah visit has come just weeks after Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu visited India.
- India and Palestine have signed 6 agreements worth around $50 million on the infrastructural development in the Palestine.
Indian and Palestine Relations
- Indian and Palestine relations are old and time tested. India’s development assistance for Palestine has been consistent and has grown over the years.
- India has always supported the cause of Palestine and since 1988 India has recognised Palestine. India is engaged in the nation building efforts of Palestine in several sectors like IT, Education, Rural development and capacity building. India is providing aid and financial assistance to Palestine. Recently at the UNGA resolution, India voted against US President Donald Trump decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
India’s focus to Link West
- After the Act East policy, the government is shifting the focus to Link West. West Asia has always been India’s extended neighbourhood. But India has not paid much attention to West Asia considering the importance of this area in terms of political and economic affairs. Most of India’s energy requirements come from West Asia. 6 million Indian origin works in the gulf and the West Asia who send huge remittances to India. The new dimension to the relationship is in terms of security and counter terrorism where the countries are facing the problem of terrorism. There are many areas of convergence between India and West Asia.
- Israel-Palestine relations are not just a serious issue but a very complicated issue. India has always talked about peaceful solution. India believes in a two-state solution in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully.
- In West Asia the political and strategic scenario is changing very quickly. India wants to de-hyphenate its relationship with Israel and Palestine andsee them as mutually independent and exclusive. These are two standalone relationships and they should not be hyphenated together. It shows the maturity on part of the Israel also as it has recognised this aspect of Indian diplomacy and is confident of their relationship with India.
- This allows India to maintain the image of its historical moral support for Palestinian self-determination, and at the same time to engage in military, economic, and other strategic relations with Israel.