PM Netanyahu and India's Modi.
(photo credit: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE)
Foreign Ministry director- general Dore Gold is expected to thank India for an apparent change in its voting pattern on Israel-related issues at the UN when he leads a high level Israeli- Indian dialogue in the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
In a historic first in UN votes on Israel, India did not vote for the Palestinians, but rather abstained, in an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Human Rights Council last Friday.
Indian government sources were quoted in the Indian media in December as saying that India, under the new government of Narendra Modi, was considering changing its automatic support for Palestinians at the UN, and abstaining on those votes. The Hindu newspaper at the time said such a move would be tantamount to a “tectonic shift” in the country’s foreign policy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Modi over the weekend to personally thank him for the abstention, a vote that Israeli diplomatic sources characterized as “dramatic,” even though India’s Foreign Ministry said afterward that “there is no change in India’s long-standing position on support to the Palestinian cause.”
With some 180 million Muslims, India has the second- largest Muslim population in the world, after Indonesia.
The Indian delegation to the dialogue will be led by a senior Indian Foreign Ministry official, Anil Wadhwa.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Israeli-Indian ties have been warming for years, and received a push with Modi’s election last year.
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The dialogue is to focus on bilateral diplomatic, economic and development matters, as well as on regional issues.
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