NEW DELHI: Even as India’s stand to remain abstain from a resolution condemning Israel would have been read as change in its pro-Palestinian policy, New Delhi has reiterated its solidarity with the Palestinian cause by setting up an Institute to train diplomats of the territory that has seen a protracted conflict since 1948.
A lot has been read into the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Bangladesh and Pakistan as he gave New Delhi a miss. However, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the Palestinian President is expected to visit India sometime this year and there has been no lassitude in India-Palestinian relation. India will be setting up an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine at the cost of $ 4.5 million to help train its diplomats.
“…we are also setting up an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine for training of Palestinian Diplomats through Government of India assistance of $ 4.5 million,” MEA Spokesperson revealed, before rejecting the idea of ascribing meaning to President Abbas’ sojourn to Bangladesh and Pakistan.
India has been regularly conducting special course for Palestinian Diplomats, where apart from facilitating the up-gradation of their diplomatic and professional skills, they are also informed about various issues including that from the West Asian region. But this would be the first time that it would be assisting in setting up an institute like this.
The development seems to be a takeaway from the first Joint Commission meeting between India and Palestine in November last year where the two decided to diversify their cooperation. India has been struggling to strike a balance between its thickening of ties with Israel that is undergirded by defence relation and its post-colonial commitment to the cause of Palestine. There have been buzz about Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to travel to Tel Aviv and it remains to be seen if Palestine too would be on his itinerary.