India on Thursday said its position on Palestine was not determined by a third country. “India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar (pictured above) said after United States President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump’s decision is likely to put India in a predicament as it has historically supported the Palestinian cause, according to NDTV. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pledged that India would support an independent Palestinian state when President Mahmoud Abbas visited India in May this year.
Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel in June this year. Before his visit, Modi had said, “India believes in a two-state solution, in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully.”
He had added that efforts should be made made to find an acceptable solution to all pending issues, including Jerusalem. “A final-status agreement should respect the sentiments and address demands of all affected parties.”
Trump’s decision breaks away from years of policy and leaves room for uncertainty in West Asia. This also begins the process of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
While Israel has called the decision “historic”, Palestinian President Abbas said the announcement was “deplorable”, and called Jerusalem the “eternal Capital of the state of Palestine”.
Several countries, as well as the United Nations, the European Union and the Vatican, criticised the move. Eight of the 15 current members of the UN Security Council have called for an urgent meeting by the end of the week. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “a moment of great anxiety”, and there was “no alternative to the two-state solution” in the region.