20:07 GMT18 September 2020
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    India has once again made it clear that while it aspires to build relations with Israel, it should not come at the expense of support for Palestine. Experts say there is nothing surprising in India's stance and it is only a reaffirmation of the country’s long-standing position.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) In a message on the eve of the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated the country's "steadfast support for the Palestinian cause." He also called for the early resumption of Israel-Palestine talks.

    The Indian Prime Minister said his country is an active development partner of Palestine and is engaged in extending technical and financial assistance to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.

     "India hopes for an early resumption of dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive negotiated resolution. We hope for the early realization of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine co-existing peacefully with Israel," Modi said in his message.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) walks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as they visit Olga Beach and a water desalination unit operated by G.A.L. Water Technologies, near Hadera, Israel July 6, 2017
    © REUTERS / Kobi Gideon/Courtesy of Government Press Office
    India has been aggressively pursuing its friendship and economic alliance with Israel ever since Modi came to power in 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India in January next year, six months after the maiden visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister. Experts say that India's growing bonhomie with Israel does not mean it has gone slack in its support to the Palestinians.

    READ MORE: Israel Turns Peace Process in Palestine Into 'Complete Charade'

     "Prime Minister Modi's message is a welcome statement and it only reaffirms India's stand on peace and harmony. India has always supported Palestinian freedom and autonomy and also the recognition of Israel as it is where it is," senior political analyst Sudheendra Kulkarni told Sputnik.  

    Since 1979, every year November 29 is celebrated as International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by the United Nations.


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