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India pledges US $ 1 million for Palestine

November 30, 1998

India announces pledge of US $ 1 million for Palestine

India today pledged an amount of US $ 1 million at the Conference to Support Middle East Peace and Development. The text of the statement made by H.E. Mr. Naresh Chandra, Ambassador of India to the United States and Head of the Delegation of India to the Conference is attached.

STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. NARESH CHANDRA, AMBASSADOR OF INDIA
TO THE UNITED STATES AND HEAD OF THE DELEGATION OF INDIA TO THE CONFERENCE TO SUPPORT MIDDLE-EAST PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT WASHINGTON DC - NOVEMBER 30, 1998

Mr. Under Secretary of State,
Chairman Arafat,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

I am deeply honored to represent the Government of India at this Conference to support Middle East Peace and Development inaugurated by the President of the United States.

Situated near the Middle East, which we prefer to call West Asia, India has close and cordial relations with the Governments and people of all countries of this region. Over the years, India has maintained principled support to Palestinian aspirations. India established a Representative Office to the Palestine National Authority in 1996, and has continued its diplomatic, material and technical assistance to Palestinians through this office. Our bilateral relations with Israel have also continued to develop satisfactorily. The visit of the President of Israel to India in early 1997 marked a high point of this relationship. In every forum and in bilateral discussions, India has always endeavored to offer constructive suggestions to promote a just and lasting peace in the troubled region of West Asia.

India, having commended the Middle East Peace process as a "courageous step" right at the beginning, has continued to support it ever since. India has warmly welcomed the Wye River Memorandum of Understanding as an important milestone in the Peace Process which had remained stalled for some time. All high dignitaries who made success at Wye River possible richly deserve high praise and congratulations. We hope that the implementation of the MoU will improve the security and quality of life of the people of this region and pave the way to commencement of Final Status Negotiations so that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace could be achieved in the region.

India has had the privilege of participating in the last two Donors' Conferences on Palestine in Washington and Paris and had pledged contributions which are being utilized on projects in Gaza for human resource development. India takes this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to the Middle East Peace Process and to play its role in the economic development of the region. Over and above the programs under implementation, I have the pleasure to pledge, on behalf of the Government of India, an additional US $ 1 million, on this occasion.

Thank you.