India-Palestine talks: Focus on international terrorism


Modi-Abbas

NEW YORK: With the rise of radical groups like the Islamic State (IS) in West Asia, combating global terror is high on India’s priority list. India and the Palestine discussed the growing rise of extremism in the region and discussed ways to tackle the growing threats like IS.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestine’s President  Mahmoud Abbas discussed the issue during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 28. International terrorism in general and IS in particular was the major area of focus during the talks between the two leaders. India has been pushing for the need to have a Comprehensive Convention on International terrorism (CCIT) in the UN.

There has been a growing concern in some sections in India, that the Modi led government is tilting towards Israel and not committed to the Palestinian cause. The government however maintains that it is as committed to the Palestinian cause as it is to improving relations with Israel. Mr Modi alluded to the fact that President Pranab Mukherjee was due to visit Palestine very shortly. Mr Mahmoud Abbas said this was a very good development and every one in Palestine was looking forward to it. The India President’s visit would certainly add to the longstanding ties of friendship and cooperation between India and the Palestine.

Speaking about solutions to tackle terror, Mr Abbas stressed upon the fact that a solution of the Palestinian issue would certainly help in reducing the impact of terrorist organisations such as the IS and would discourage misguided youth from joining these organisations.

The Indian side discussed the status of the Indian hostages by IS in Iraq. Mr Modi sought Palestine’s help in locating the 39 Indians who have been held hostage. Reassuring Mr Modi, Mr Abbas reiterated that his government had been sharing regular information on this subject with the Indian authorities. They would definitely share any new information with India to help secure the release of the hostages, he said.

India has traditionally supported the Palestinian cause while maintaining that it always stood for peaceful negotiations in the region. The recent increase in defence trade with Israel has led to many critics questioning India’s commitment to the Palestinian cause. The credit goes to the government that it has not abandoned support to the Palestinian cause even though it has enhanced cooperation with Israel in many areas.