With US President Donald Trump officially recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, India on Thursday stated that its position on Palestine is ‘independent and consistent’ and is not determined by any third country.
“India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
This remark from New Delhi came after Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and sparking frustrated Palestinians to cry out that he had destroyed the already-fragile Mid-east hopes for peace. He also directed the State Department to initiate the process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which many Arab leaders warn can trigger an upheaval in the already volatile Middle East .
The declaration came in a press conference which was held in the White House with Vice-President Mike Pence accompanying the 45th US President.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I direct to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the new embassy will be a magnificent tribute to peace. For over 20 years every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem or to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, under the belief that it will advance the cause of peace,” said Trump in his presser.
“We cannot solve our problems by repeating same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approach, my announcement today is a new approach to the conflicts between Israel and Palestine,” he said.
“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital and acknowledging this is necessary for peace in the region. Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions but also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world,” he added.
The US president insisted that the decision was not intended to deflect from their commitment to move from peace process and they were not taking a position on the final status issue including the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.
“We call for calm, moderation and voices of tolerance to prevail over the perverse of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts,” he said.
While President Trump’s move has been welcomed by many, the decision has also received condemnation from various Muslim countries, including the United Nations.