Your Excellency, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine,
Members of the Palestinian and Indian delegations,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to welcome back President Mahmoud Abbas, an old friend of India, on his State visit to India. The relationship between India and Palestine is built on the foundation of long-standing solidarity and friendship since the days of our own freedom struggle. India has been unwavering in its support of the Palestinian cause. And ,we hope to see the realization of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel. I have reaffirmed our position on this to President Abbas during our conversation today.
President Abbas and I have just concluded useful and detailed discussions that will add further strength to our partnership. We had extensive exchange of views on the situation in West Asia and the Middle East Peace Process. We agreed that the challenges in West Asia must be addressed through sustained political dialogue and peaceful means. India hopes for early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution. At the bilateral level, India is committed to be a useful development partner of Palestine. President Abbas and I agreed that both sides, through practical cooperation, will work together to build Palestine’s economy and contribute to improving the lives of its people. We will continue to support the development and capacity-building efforts of Palestine. The agreements concluded today are reaffirmation of our intent to strengthen cooperation in this direction. We have also taken up for particular emphasis the areas of information technology, youth and skills development in the assistance provided by India. India is undertaking project assistance for a flagship Techno-park project in Ramallah. Once completed, it will serve as an IT hub in Palestine offering a one-stop solution for all IT-related training and services. We also look forward to enhancing our cultural exchanges by adding new elements including Yoga exchanges. We look forward to the Palestinian people participating in large numbers during the International Day of Yoga celebrations next month. In the end, I wish President Mahmoud Abbas and his delegation a pleasant and productive stay in India. I look forward to working together with President Abbas to further strengthen our bilateral relations.
Thank you very much.