(photo credit: REUTERS)
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, who spent 24-hours earlier this week in Ramallah and the Palestinian Authority without once publicly condemning terrorism, finally did so on Wednesday morning prior to his speech to the Knesset.
During a ceremonial reception with President Reuven Rivlin, Mukherjee said that he was “distressed at the recent violence.”
Mukherjee, the first Indian president ever to visit Israel, said that his country “condemns all forms of terrorism. We have always advocated a peaceful resolution of all disputes.”
Mukherjee, who is scheduled to have a working lunch with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday before leaving the country, said he will “seek the assessment of the Israeli leadership about the recent developments in this region which have caused concern all over the world and have direct implications for India.”
The Indian president did not address terrorism or the Palestinian- Israeli conflict during his address to the Knesset.
Mukherjee raised some eyebrows in Jerusalem on Tuesday, however, when he made a point during a speech at Al-Quds University in east Jerusalem to say that India voted against the UN partition plan in 1947 that allowed for the establishment of Israel. India, Greece and Cuba were the only non-Muslim countries to vote against the plan, which passed by a vote of 33-13, with 10 abstentions.
His comments at Al-Quds followed a speech he gave at the University of Jordan in Amman on Sunday in which he quoted Mahatma Gandhi as saying that “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English and France to the French.”
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