India always had consensus on Palestine: Khurshid

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Pointing out the centrality of Palestine in India’s foreign policy, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday underlined its vital significance for the Indian nation.

“In our country the consensus on the Palestinian cause cuts across all political parties, regions, sections and communities. It is a truly national consensus for Palestine,” Khurshid said here at a function to felicitate him.

The event was organised by the Hyderabad-based Indo-Arab League.

Addressing guests, among them ambassadors of Arab and North African nations, he said: “Palestine has been central to our foreign policy as articulated by Jawaharlal Nehru… It has been a very important part of our history and of our foreign policy.”

A two-state solution to the Palestinian crisis was the declared goal of many in the international community.

Khurshid said through the “cataclysmic changes” the world had been going through in recent times, India somehow lost the focus it had on international relations, which affected the importance it once attached to Palestine.

“India turned inwards to look at addressing its domestic concerns, to meet the population’s need for water, electricity, jobs, infrastructure, so that India could become truly reflective of its commitment ot self-reliance.

“Though we never stopped being your (Palestine) friends, sadly India was not there to help you after you said you want to make peace. Sadly we were not at the forefront of the reconstruction of Palestine.

“What we lacked in financial support, we never lacked or wavered from our emotional and political support (for the Palestinian cause),” Khurshid said.

Earlier, lauding India’s steadfast support for Palestine, Palestine ambassador Adli Shaban Hasan Sadeeq said Palestinians wanted India to send an envoy to the Middle East.

“India is a country with philosophy and should have a greater role in international policies.”

Peace prospects in the Middle East have been hurt in recent times with Israel’s construction of a wall around the Palestinian area of West Bank and expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied territories.

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