Interests, Indian Workers, Palestine, Israel and Arab-Israel Conflict

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Interests

  • Oil

  • Indian workers in ME

Indian Workers

  • About 4.5 million Indians work in ME

  • Send huge remittances back (USD 20 bn in 2007)

Palestine

  • Empathises and supports the desire of the Palestinian people for an independent state of their own

  • Mahatma Gandhi had said – “Palestine is for the Palestinian people just as France is for the French and England for the English people”

  • India has supported the cause of Palestinian people

  • India has a very balanced view. It does not interfere in the internal affairs of Arab countries

  • India reiterated its support to the Palestinian cause at the 2007 Annapolis Conference.

Israel

  • Israel is entitled to be accepted as a full member of the international community, with the right to live in peace and good neighbourly relations with its neighbours within secure and recognised borders

  • India concerned at the increased and increasing volatility and radicalisation in this region

  • West Asia has emerged as one of the two most important breeding grounds of terrorism

  • India, being next door to West Asia, has every reason to feel worried and concerned

Arab-Israel Conflict

Palestine

  • UNSC resolutions 242 and 338 lay down the broad outlines for a settlement. But Palestine remains the core issue

  • Israel must end its occupation and withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967

  • Israel should make available to the future Palestine state an area of the same size as the whole of occupied West Bank

  • there are formulae for tackling the refugee problem, perhaps the most emotional of the six issues between the Israeli and Palestinian sides. The Palestinian leadership will be loath to formally give up “the right of return”, offered to the refugees in United Nations Resolution 194. At the same time, no Israeli leadership of any political persuasion will ever acknowledge or agree to the return of over 4 million Palestinian refugees to Israel proper.

  • Jerusalem is yet another emotional and complex issue

Syria-Israel Dispute

  • Israel clearly should vacate Golan Heights

  • Israel knows and acknowledges this fact

Israel-Lebanon Dispute

Second Lebanon war 2006

Palestine Peace Process

Current Issues

  • Borders and division of the land

  • Palestinian concerns over Israeli settlements in West Bank

  • Status of Jerusalem

  • Israeli security concerns over terrorism, safe borders, incitements, violence

  • Right of return of Palestinian refugees living in Palestinian diaspora.

Peace Effort

  • Rogers peace plan and Saddat initiative (1970-72)

  • Madrid Conference (1991)

  • Oslo Accords (1993)

  • Hebron Agreement

  • Wye River Memorandum

  • Camp David Accords (2000)

  • Israel offered Palestine approximately 95% of the West Bank and the entire Gaza Strip if 69 Jewish settlements could be ceded to Israel

  • East Jerusalem would be with Israel

  • The issue of Palestinian right of return would be solved through significant monetary reparations Arafat rejected the offer 2002 Beirut Summit

  • Annapolis Conference (2007)

  • Two state solution

Road Map for Peace

  • Quartet of US, EU, UN and Russia outlined the principles of a road map for peace including an independent Palestinian state

  • The plan called for independent actions by Israel and the Palestinian Authority with disputed issues put off until a rapport can be established.

  • Neither party has yet fulfilled its obligations under this peace plan

2010 Direct Talks

In 2010 Obama pushed to revive the stalled peace process

What role can India play in peace process in middle east?

  • West Asia is a part of India’s extended neighbourhood, with which we have

  • had a close interaction over millennia. Consequently, we have deep interest

  • in peace and stability in the region and have been closely monitoring

  • developments in the region.

  • We believe that there is no military solution to the Israel-Palestine and

  • related issues. India has been calling for all parties in West Asia to fully

  • cooperate with the efforts of the international community. We support the

  • revival of direct negotiations between the leaders of Israel and Palestine,

  • the momentum for which was generated at the Annapolis Conference. At

  • the conference, India expressed its readiness to play its due role in the

  • collective endeavour to strengthen the forces of peace and stability in the

  • region. The Arab Peace Initiative, re-launched in Saudi Arabia in March

  • (Riyadh -2007), provides a constructive framework for achieving such a comprehensive peace.

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