India has strongly objected to Israel for not allowing the entry of diplomats of five countries to attend a meeting in the West Bank, which led to the cancellation of the Non-Aligned Movement(NAM) meeting at the last minute.
Israel on Sunday stopped ministers and representatives of five countries - Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cuba and Malaysia - from entering Ramallah to attend the meeting of NAM’s Palestine Committee with Palestine authority, to support its campaign to upgrade its membership in United Nations.
The Jerusalem Post quoted the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor as stating that countries that “don’t even bother to have relations with Israel…cannot be a player here”. “Under international agreements, we have the authority and duty to clear entry via Jordan, whether entrance is by land or air,” he added.
He said that the rest of the countries of the 12-member committee, which included India, who had diplomatic relations with India, were free to go to Ramallah.
However, all the countries decided to cancel the meet in protest against Israel’s move.
India’s representative, MEA Secretary (east) Sanjay Singh had gathered along with other officials in Amman, Jordan’s capital, to take a helicopter ride to Palestine, when the news of Israel’s move arrived, leading to the cancellation of the trip.
“We have taken strong objection to the fact that we were unable to express solidarity with the Palestinian people by holding this meeting in Ramallah,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in Delhi.