India pledges $10 mn for Palestine

India pledges $10 mn for Palestine

Pitching for durable peace in the West Asia and Gulf region, India Tuesday said it will continue to work for full membership of the UN for Palestine as the two sides signed a slew of pacts to bolster their development-oriented partnership.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks with visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and focused on expanding the scope of the India-Palestine relationship.

After the talks, the two sides signed pacts in the areas of information and communication technology, vocational training and education.

Manmohan Singh announced an assistance of $10 million to Palestine's budget for this year to help address its financial requirements.

During his talks, Manmohan Singh reiterated India's support for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace with Israel.

"Support for the Palestinian cause has been a cornerstone of India's foreign policy," he told reporters at a joint press conference with Abbas.

"India had played an active role in supporting the efforts of the State of Palestine to secure full membership status at Unesco. We will continue to support Palestine's bid for full and equal membership of the United Nations," he said.

An ardent supporter of Palestine in multilateral fora, India has robustly supported the Palestinian application for UN membership in 2011.

Given India's huge stakes in peace and stability in the West Asian region, home to six-million strong Indian diaspora, Manmohan Singh backed an early resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis and hoped for a comprehensive resolution between the two sides.

The situation in West Asia, which is in a flux due to the festering Syrian crisis and other developments, figured prominently in the discussions.

"We both agree that the developments in the region must be addressed through political dialogue and peaceful means without recourse to violence and outside interference, while taking into account the legitimate aspirations of all people," said Manmohan Singh.