Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Friday met Minister of State for
External Affairs Shashi Tharoor who reassured the visiting leader of
New Delhi’s support for peace and development in the Middle East.
“(I had an) excellent meeting with President Abbas and (Foreign
Minister Riyad al) Maliki of Palestine,” Tharoor wrote on micro-blogging
site Twitter, shortly after the meeting.
Tharoor said he had a “thorough discussion” on the political
situation and peace process in the Middle East. He also assured
Abbas and Maliki of “Indian help for Palestine”, the minister added.
Abbas arrived in New Delhi Thursday on a two-day unannounced visit
to India. The trip comes even as he came under a cloud after a
leading Israeli television channel broadcast a tape showing Abbas’
aide allegedly trying to receive sexual favours from a Palestinian
meeting with Tharoor comes a day after Abbas met Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh who announced $10 million aid for Palestine.
Manmohan Singh in his meeting with Abbas reiterated India’s
commitment to the Palestinian cause in line with United Nations
Security Council calling for a sovereign, independent, viable and
united state of Palestine.
prime minister announced a grant of $10 million as budget support to
the Palestinian National Authority and reassured Abbas of India’s
support for economic and social development,” an official said.
Manmohan Singh hosted a dinner for Abbas and his delegation. The two
leaders held discussions on the fresh efforts at initiating a peace
process in the volatile Middle East region.
“They also discussed the Russian proposal for a meeting of the
European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the US (the Quartet
working for peace in the Middle East),” the official said.
visit of the Palestinian president comes about a fortnight ahead of
Manmohan Singh’s visit to Saudi Arabia.
India has been supporting a peaceful resolution of the Middle East
conflict. In 1974 it recognised the Palestine Liberation
Organisation as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.
India in 1988 became the first non-Arab country to recognise the
state of Palestine.