Singh writes to Abbas, assures India support at UN

NEW YORK: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas assuring him of India’s “full support” for his country’s bid for statehood at the UN.

“India has always supported the Palestinian people in their pursuit of legitimate goals and for development with dignity and self reliance. I assure you of India’s full support in the United Nations,” Singh wrote in the letter to Abbas.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri read out the one-page letter at a briefing with Indian reporters here.

The letter, written today, was in response to an August 21 communication by Abbas to the Prime Minister “regarding the initiative to seek full membership for Palestine in the UN.”

“India’s relations with Palestine are historic and firmly rooted in our national ethos. India has been unwavering in its support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognizable borders side by side and at peace with Israel” as endorsed in the Arab peace initiative quartet road map and the relevant UN Security Council resolution, Singh said in the letter.

Puri rubbished claims that India would not extend support to Palestine, saying India was the first non-Arab country to recognize the Palestinian aspiration for statehood.

Abbas, who is in the city for the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, today conveyed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that he will submit to him on Friday an application for Palestinian membership in the UN. -PTI

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