United Nations, Oct 25: India Tuesday voiced hope that the process to grant the Palestinian request for UN membership would be concluded expeditiously and stressed this should not be made ‘conditional’ upon a peace agreement.
‘We cannot make Palestine’s membership to the United Nations conditional upon a peace agreement for that will be legally untenable, even while we support resumption of direct talks to resolve the outstanding issues,’ Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed said at an ?open debate? in the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East and Palestine.
‘The call of the international community for democracy and respect of fundamental rights will sound hollow if the present impasse continues and Palestinians are denied their aspirations,? he said.
‘It is also our firm conviction that lasting peace and security in the region can be achieved only through peaceful dialogue and not through use of force,? he added.
Ahamed stressed that Palestine fulfills all criteria mentioned in UN Charter for membership and expressed hope that the Palestinian application process will be ‘concluded expeditiously’.
India was the first non-Arab country to recognize the state of Palestine in 1988, Ahamed said.
Palestine has been recognized by more than two-thirds of the membership of the UN.
‘The issue of Palestine has taken a decisive turn in the history of the Middle East conflict after President Mahmoud Abbas filed an application with the Secretary General on September 23, 2011 for Palestine?s full membership to the United Nations,? he said.
A day after Abbas filed the application, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in the General Assembly that India looked ?forward to welcoming Palestine as an equal member of the United Nations’.