Noting the fact that pandemic's impact on the people of Gaza has been particularly severe due to fragile healthcare infrastructure, India on Saturday assured Palestine of providing the second batch of medicines and also facilitate an early supply of vaccines to Palestine as COVID-19 assistance, said Nagaraj Naidu, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of India's Mission at UNSC on Saturday.
"We are in the process of sending the second batch of medicines as a grant to the Palestinian people in the coming weeks. We will also facilitate an early supply of vaccines to Palestine," he said at the UN.
"The pandemic's impact on the people of Gaza has been particularly severe due to fragile healthcare infrastructure. We note that COVID19 vaccines are being made available to people of Palestine, including in Gaza," added Naidu.
Asserting India's vital role in equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the world, he said, "India strongly believes that equity in access to vaccines across the world is important for mitigating the impact of the pandemic. India had earlier provided critical medicines and medical equipment to Palestine as COVID19 assistance."
India also reaffirmed its support for the Palestinian cause. "India reaffirms its support to the Palestinian cause and establishment of a sovereign, viable and independent state of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel. We firmly believe that only a two-state solution will deliver enduring peace that the people of Israel and Palestine desire and deserve. This should be achieved from direct negotiations from both sides on final status issues. Both sides must avoid any unilateral actions which could prejudice these final status issues," said the Deputy Permanent Representative.
He also lauded the efforts of Quartet and Munich Group for initiating the stalled peace talks, "Recent diplomatic efforts to revive the stalled peace-talks are encouraging, the meeting of the Quart's special envoys is timely, we urge Quart's to initiate engagement with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership. In this regard, we also appreciate the Munich Group's recent outreach."
The Quartet comprises the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia. It was formed in 2002 to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Munich Group refers to a grouping of Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Jordan, France, and Germany to discuss Israel-Palestine peace efforts. It was formed in February 2020.
"India welcomes all efforts which are aimed at strengthening the collective commitment of the international community to resume direct negotiations and facilitate the peace process," said the Ambassador.
He said, "We acknowledge Egypt's efforts in facilitating this agreement. The high percentage of Palestinians who have registered to vote in the elections reflect the state's desire to take part in the democratic process."
"We are pleased to note that the preparations for the Palestinian elections are moving forward. The Cairo Agreement between the Palestinian parties on the conduct of Parliamentary and Presidential elections to abide by the electoral time-table accepts the results of the elections and other elections-related arrangements is a positive step in the right direction. The commitment undertaken by all parties to release political detainees will also help build trust between them," he added.
Further, Naidu expressed his delight over the opening of the Rafah border crossing. "The opening of Rafah border crossing is a significant development which will ease the humtarian health situation in Gaza. The recent announcements pertaining to the gas-pipeline to Gaza is encouraging," said the Ambassador.
( With inputs from ANI )
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