Ramallah: Expressing India`s support to the
Palestinian cause, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed on Saturday called upon Israel and the Palestinian Authority
(PA) to opt for direct talks to resolve final status issues.
"Our support for the Palestinian people has not just been
limited to economic and humanitarian issues, but also in
several other areas.
"India was the first non-Arab state to recognise the
Palestinian Liberation Organisation", Ahamed told young
Palestinians assembled at the inauguration of a multi-purpose
sports centre in Ramallah built by joint financial assistance
from India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA).
"The issue of Palestine has taken a decisive turn after
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full
membership at the United Nations.
"Our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his steadfast
support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state
with east Jerusalem as its capital living side by side with
Israel", the Indian minister said.
He said India "believes that direct talks between Israel
and the Palestinians is the only way to resolve final status
Peace talks between Israel and the PA has hit a roadblock
with the Palestinian leadership demanding that the Jewish
state first put a complete halt on building activities in the
West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, the new sports centre consists of a 1000 square
meter multipurpose sports hall comprising an indoor
basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, tennis, and handball
court, according to international standards.
The facility will be also utilised for gymnastics as well
as other sporting activities.