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India backs full UN membership for Palestine, stresses on two-state solution

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NEW DELHI: India backed full UN membership for Palestine while underlining that only a two-state solution could deliver lasting peace in the conflict-ridden region.
India voted in favour of a draft UN General Assembly resolution last week that said Palestine is qualified and should be admitted as a full member of the United Nations and recommended that the Security Council ‘reconsider’ the matter ‘favourably’.
“In keeping with our longstanding position, we support the membership of Palestine at the UN and, therefore, we have voted in favour of this Resolution,” India’s permanent representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, told the UN General Assembly on Monday.
“We hope that Palestine’s application would be reconsidered by the Security Council in due course and that Palestine’s endeavour to become a member of the UN will get endorsed,” she said.
The 193-member General Assembly had met Friday for an emergency special session where the Arab Group resolution ‘Admission of new Members to the United Nations’, in support of the State of Palestine’s full membership in the UN, was presented by the United Arab Emirates, as chair of the Arab Group in May.
With India’s vote, the resolution received 143 votes in favour, nine against, and 25 abstentions.
Applause broke out in the UNGA hall after the vote was taken.
The resolution stated that “the State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations” in accordance with Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations and “should, therefore, be admitted to membership in the United Nations”.
It recommended that the Security Council “reconsider the matter favourably in the light of this determination”.
Currently, Palestine is a “non-member observer state” at the UN, a status granted to it by the General Assembly in 2012. This status allows Palestine to participate in proceedings of the world body but it cannot vote on resolutions.
Ruchira Kamboj stressed that India’s leadership has repeatedly asserted that only the two-state solution, achieved through direct and meaningful negotiations between both sides on final status issues, will deliver an enduring peace.
“India is committed to supporting a two-State solution where the Palestinian people are able to live freely in an independent country within secure borders, with due regard to the security needs of Israel. To arrive at a lasting solution, we urge all parties to foster conditions conducive to resuming direct peace negotiations at an early date,” she said.
(With PTI inputs)

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