On Jerusalem, India says its position is independent

Reacting to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States President Donald Trump, India has stated that its position is independent and not determined by any third country.

While responding to media queries regarding India’s position on recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel by the US, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said, “India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.”

India has historically supported an independent Palestinian state.

President Donald Trump had on Wednesday recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, overturning decades of official US policy. Mr Trump further said the US supported a two-state solution only if approved by both sides.

Both Israel and Palestine claim sovereignty over Jerusalem which contains sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was annexed by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally.

While Israel called Mr Trump’s announcement “historic”, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it “deplorable”, saying the US could no longer be a mediator in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The US move could create further unrest in the Middle East.

The United Nations Security Council has convened an urgent meeting on Friday to discuss the US decision. UN Secretary General António Guterres is expected to address the Security Council.

Earlier, in the wake of the US announcement, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that there is no alternative to the two-state solution and any unilateral measures would only jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

“Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides,” the UN Secretary General said.

“It is only by realizing the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations, that the legitimate aspirations of both peoples will be achieved,” he further stated.

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