India committed to Palestine cause: Mukherjee

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Stating that India's commitment to Palestine was given voice by none less than Mahatma Gandhi in the days of India's own struggle for independence, President Pranab Mukherjee said New Delhi has been consistent and persevering in its commitment to the Palestinian cause.

Speaking at a banquet held in honour of visiting Palestinian State Authority President Mahmoud Abbas here on Tuesday night, Mukherjee said India has always supported the Palestinian people in pursuing their legitimate aspiration for a sovereign, independent and viable state in the United Nations, the Non Aligned Movement, and in other international fora.

"India wishes to see your realisation of a State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing within secure and recognised borders side by side and in peace with Israel," said the President.

"Towards this end, India has underlined its support for the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Road Map; we have repeatedly called for the implementation of relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly," he added.

"India has been proud to assist the Palestinian people in their continuing endeavour towards nation-building. We have seen, with satisfaction, the positive outcome of grants and resources shared by us over the decades for your developmental projects, creation of educational and training facilities, capacity building and humanitarian relief," Mukherjee further said.

Congratulating President Abbas on the inauguration of the new Palestinian Embassy building in New Delhi, he said: "This is a proud moment in our diplomatic history - and your Embassy will ever be a monument to the co-operation and enduring friendship between our two countries and our peoples."

He hoped that the visit of President Abbas to India would strengthen bilateral co-operation for mutual benefit 'and renew our commitment to achieving our common goals in the years to come'.

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