External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the entire Indian leadership remains steadfast in its commitment to the Palestinian cause.
“India’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and its principled support to the Palestinian cause is rooted in our own freedom struggle. Over the years our approach to Palestine has crystallized into a policy with three core dimensions: solidarity with the Palestinian people, support to the Palestinian cause; and support to Palestine’s nation building and capacity building efforts. The entire Indian political leadership remains steadfastly committed to these policies,” Sushma said while inaugurating the India-Palestine Digital Learning and Innovation Centre at the Al-Quds University here.
“I thank the President of the Al-Quds University for his generous words for India and for me. We value your kind words as a sign of friendship and regard of the people of Palestine for India. I am very happy to inaugurate the India-Palestine Digital Learning and Innovation Centre today. This is yet another example of India’s commitment to help its brothers and sisters in Palestine,” she added.
Sushma also thanked the Al Quds University for establishing this Centre of Excellence, saying that they were playing an important role in fostering India-Palestine relations through initiatives like this.
“I am also very happy to note the University will soon host an Indian Studies Chair and that it has institutionalized academic and research cooperation with the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia University of India,” she said.
“The University’s efforts in strengthening India-Palestine partnership in the field of IT are also commendable. India’s strengths in IT and IT-enabled services could immensely benefit the Palestinian economy and society. We are ready to assist Palestine in IT, as well as other sectors, as much as we can,” she added.
She asserted that on the lines of the centre in the university, they are committed to build another Centre for Excellence in ICT and Innovation in Gaza city.
The External Affairs Minister also said that India is also developing a Techno-Park in Ramallah.
“Over the years our approach to Palestine has crystallized into a policy with three core dimensions: solidarity with the Palestinian people, support to the Palestinian cause; and support to Palestine’s nation building and capacity building efforts. The entire Indian political leadership remains steadfastly committed to these policies,” she said.
“We have also started to put in motion the framework suggested by our President for the future of our partnership during his visit. Accordingly, we are working for closer political interaction and deeper economic engagement with Palestine. We are also looking at ways and means to further increase academic collaboration between India and Palestine,” she added.
She stressed that it is important to intensify the cultural contacts and people-to-people exchanges which are the bedrock of India’s relation with Palestine.
“Over the years hundreds of Palestinian students have studied in the best of Indian institutions. We must harness their experience in furthering our friendship,” she said.
Swaraj during her visit, held talks with her Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki and later in the day she called on President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
The Minister also laid a wreath at the mausoleum of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. After her engagements in Palestine, Swaraj proceeded to Israel where she will meet the top Israeli leadership today.
She will be meeting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top ministers of Israeli government.