United Nations: Amid a
last-ditch American effort to head off a Palestinian bid for
membership in the United Nations, India has reiterated its
absolute "unequivocal support" for a Palestinian state.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here Thursday to
address the United Nations, sent a letter Sep 19 to Palestinian
Authority president Mahmoud Abbas assuring him of India's full
support at the UN, India's permanent representative to the UN,
Hardeep Singh Puri , told the strong India media contingent
There are all indications that Abbas, after his address to the UN
General Assembly Friday, would inform UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon
that the Palestinian authority stands ready to assume the
responsibility of a state, he said.
Efforts were also on to persuade Abbass not to approach either the
General Assembly or the UN Security Council for full membership of
UN at this stage amid efforts to facilitate direct
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Puri said.
Speeches at the UN in support have not left Palestine with many
choices, he said. The United States too would prefer not to cast a
veto if the matter comes up before the Security Council. But if
left with no choice they too appeared ready to veto the move.
Noting that India was the first non-Arab State to recognise
Palestinian state as far back as 1988, Puri said Manmohan Singh
had in his letter reiterated that India will support the Palestine
"India's support for Palestine state is 100 percent, unequivocal,"
Puri said in response to a question and if it comes to a vote
"India will vote for it the General Assembly and the Security
"There is no question of India coming under pressure on the
Palestine question," he said.
Indications are that in the General Assembly that Palestine could
seek enhancement of their observer entity status to a non-member
observer status, Puri said. "Which way it would go - to the
General Assembly or the Security Council - was an issue of
negotiations - tactic," he said.
Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts were on at the UN to persuade Abbas
to refrain from bringing the Palestinian issue to a head with
suggestions that direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations could be
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)