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India offers $10mn to Palestine

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said India would contribute $10 million towards Palestine’s budget as he met the visiting Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 12, 2012 1:36:54 am

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said India would contribute $10 million towards Palestine’s budget as he met the visiting Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas described India as a “great friend” and insisted he was determined to tackle an economic crisis that has led to mass protests in the West Bank as he accepted the aid from India. After talks with Singh,Abbas told reporters his government would continue to work towards “improving our economic situation,maintain law and order”.

The Palestinian leader,whose authority is effectively confined to the West Bank as Hamas runs the Gaza Strip,said Israel’s occupation was exacerbating the situation as it “strangles and suffocates us and our financial situation”.

Indian officials said it was the third such donation,adding that New Delhi was committed to helping other development projects.

Singh also pledged Delhi’s support to Palestine’s bid for full and equal membership of the UN. Three pacts — on building schools,on Information Technology and imparting vocational training — were signed between the two side after the talks.

“Support for the Palestinian cause has been a cornerstone of India’s foreign policy. I reiterated India’s firm support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve a sovereign,independent,viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Singh said at the press conference with Abbas.

He said India supported an independent Palestine living within secure and recognised borders and at peace with Israel. “We also look forward to early resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis…,” he said.

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