Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Dubai, March 21 (PTI): Observing that there can be no military solution to the middle-east crisis, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has said both Israel and Palestine need to eschew violence and focus instead on creation of an independent Palestinian state within a "time-frame".
"India's support for the Palestinian cause is rooted in history. We believe that there can be no military solution to the Palestinian issue," Sinha said in a speech made in Doha on Monday at a conference on "Enriching the Middle East's Economic Future".
The former External Affairs minister called for the creation of a Palestinian state within a time-frame. "It is important for both sides, therefore, to eschew violence and fully cooperate with the international community to achieve the objective of the creation of a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine with in a reasonable time-frame living in peace with Israel, with both countries having secure and recognised borders".
On the importance of the Gulf countries for India, he said nearly 4.5 million Indians work in the region. "Of this, over 170,000 live in Qatar and constitute the largest community among foreigners in the state. The region provides 70 per cent of India's oil and gas needs. Our non-oil trade with this region is worth over USD 20 billion."
Sinha said, "India would like to see a stable, peaceful, prosperous, united and democratic Iraq. We were against a military solution from the beginning of this crisis. Subsequent developments have confirmed our worst apprehensions."