Palestinian Authority recalls envoy from Pakistan over Jerusalem rally row

Palestine Conveyed Deep Regrets Over Meeting Of Its Ambassador To Pakistan With Hafiz Saeed: MEA
Palestine recalls its Pakistan envoy for attending Hafiz Saeed event after India protests

02 January, 2018

The Palestinian ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Al Haij, was quoted as saying that his government supported India "in its fight against terrorism" and had made a decision to call back its Pakistan envoy.

"Palestine is keen to maintain good relations with friendly India and supports it for the efforts in its fight against terrorism", the Palestine Foreign Office spokesperson said.

India has taken a grim view after reports emerged that the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, recently shared a stage with Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Rawalpindi. "We are taking up the matter strongly with the Palestinian Ambassador in New Delhi and with the Palestinian authorities", said the MEA on Saturday.

The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the Government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their Ambassador's presence at this event, it added.

". the State of Palestine affirms its stand with the Republic of India in dealing with its terrorist threats, as our nations are real partners in the war against terrorism", the statement said.

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Palestine Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Alhaijaa told The Sunday Express that Ali has been "recalled" by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry. "But still, we can not find this acceptable... and the Palestinian government has chose to take action", he said. Ministry of External Affairs said Palestine has regretted the meet. "We take note of the assurances given by the Palestine side", the MEA statement said.

Late on Saturday, Pakistan defended the decision to allow Saeed's rally in Rawalpindi. India's vote was seen to be against Israel, a close friend of India as well as U.S., its strategic partner.

The move by the Ambassador to Pakistan was considered particularly insulting as it came close on the heels of India's vote at the UNGA in support of the two-state solution and criticising the U.S. and Israel for supporting a shift in Jerusalem's status.

The India-Palestine Solidarity Front (IPSF) in New Delhi strongly condemned the Palestinian envoy's dais sharing with Saeed and later appreciated the prompt action by President Mahmoud Abbas to recall Ali. India had chose to vote along with the principled position taken by New Delhi for the last seven decades, despite the BJP-led NDA government taking steps to strengthen bilateral relations with Israel. We also condemn sharing of a stage with him by any Palestinian official, an act that contradicts our people's principled commitment to universal human rights and democracy and undermines the decades-long friendship between the Indian people and the people of Palestine.

"The public meeting held yesterday was yet another demonstration of the Pakistani strong sentiments in support of the Palestinian cause", said an FO statement.

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