Palestine conveys ‘deep regret’, recalls envoy for attending Hafiz Saeed event after India protests

The Palestinian side has conveyed 'deep regrets' over the incident and assured India they are taking serious cognisance of their ambassador's presence at the event

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2017 10:03:35 pm
Palestine calls back ambassador to Pakistan after Hafiz Saeed meeting PM Modi with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas. (File photo)

Palestine on Saturday decided to call back its Ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, after he shared the stage with JuD chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed during an event in Rawalpindi and called the incident “deeply regrettable”. The move comes hours after India raised concerns with the Middle East country following reports that Ali attended a rally organised by the Difah-e-Pakistan Council, headed by Saeed, on Friday.

“Palestine has decided to recall its Ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharin the stage with Hafiz Saeed,” ANI quoted Palestinian ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija as saying.

Speaking to ANI, Haija said the Palestine ambassador didn’t know Saeed. “Our ambassador doesn’t know this person (Saeed). Our ambassador’s speech was after Saeed and he left soon. For us, even that is not acceptable and a decision has been taken,” Haija clarified.

Palestine envoy to India Palestinian ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija said the government fully supported India in its fight against terrorism. (Source: ANI)

Haija said the government fully supported India in its fight against terrorism. “Because of that my government decided to directly call our ambassador back home and he won’t be made ambassador to Pakistan anymore,” he said. Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a great guest to Palestine, he said, “I hope he will soon visit Palestine and we are waiting for his visit.”

Earlier on Saturday, the External Affairs Ministry condemned the act by the Palestinian ambassador in strong words and called it “unacceptable”. “The government has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian ambassador’s association with terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on December 29 is unacceptable,” ANI quoted the ministry said. The MEA said the Palestinian side had conveyed their “deep regrets” on the incident. “The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident,” the MEA statement claimed.

After all, it must be remembered that only a week ago India voted against its strategic partners US and Israel and exercised its franchise in favour of an UN resolution criticising Donald Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

“They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in war against terrorism and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India,” the ministry said.

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