India Becoming More Influential Player In International Arena

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Arab countries are now becoming friends and peace partners of Israel, Ron Malka said.

New Delhi:

Underlining that India’s influence in the international arena is growing continuously, Israeli envoy Ron Malka has said that the country’s strategic position on global matters including in West Asia and particularly towards Israel is keenly watched by other countries and is also being replicated by many.

He said Israel’s deepening relation with India is having a positive impact on its ties with other countries, including in the Arab world, as the Indo-Israel collaboration in various areas is showing to them how friendship with Israel can be mutually beneficial.

In an interview with PTI, Israel’s Ambassador to India Malka further said that the establishment of cordial ties between Israel and Arab countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, shows that the world is realising that Palestinians must come out of their “fantasies” and recognise the Jewish state.

“Peace is the way (forward) and we should find a way for peace and live together, especially with neighbours. The world expects Palestinians to be more realistic to internalise the fact that Israel is there and it is there to stay and Israel is willing to go for peace,” he said.

Malka said the world now understands that “there is no conflict between Israel and the Muslim world or between Israel and the Arab world. There is a local territorial conflict between Israel and Palestinians, nothing more than that.”

He alleged that some political organisations tried to pretend as if there was a conflict between Jews and Muslims, but this was not the case.

Malka said it was up to India to decide whether it wants to play an active role in the West Asia peace process, but its “dehyphenation approach policy” has already established the country’s “big influence” with the world realising that they can also be “friends and strategic partners” with Israel.

“If it works for India, why not for them? The way India accepts developing relations with Israel is visible to other countries in West Asia too. So, of course, it has an influence,” he said.

“If India wants or wishes to take a more active role, it is for India to decide. But I think what is going on now between India and Israel, the dehyphenation approach policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi — Ok we can support the Palestinian cause but at the same time support Israel and be friends and key strategic partner with Israel’ — that is something the world has seen.”

“So, the world is saying now — ‘Ok, maybe we can also do that’. This is a big influence, even if India does not take a more proactive role,” Malka said.

He was replying to a question on whether Israel would want India to play any role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“India as a whole is becoming stronger and stronger and that is something that we also want to see. India has a very important role to play in the international arena as a whole and India is really becoming stronger and stronger and more influential player in the international arena, and of course also in West Asia.

“What India is doing, what India is saying, what India’s stance is, of course, it is important to many countries. India is a very important and influential country in the world,” he said.

Malka’s remarks follow agreements signed last month for the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to establish formal ties with Israel.

India had welcomed the development and had said it has always supported peace and stability in West Asia. India had also said it continues its “traditional support” for the Palestinian cause, and hopes for an early resumption of direct negotiations for an acceptable “two-state solution”.

During foreign office consultations with the Palestinian side last month, India had hoped for an early resumption of direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel to achieve a sovereign, independent and united Palestinian state living within secure and recognised borders.

The UAE and Bahrain became the first Arab countries to normalise ties with Israel without a resolution of its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians who are demanding a separate state.

Referring to the establishment of ties with the two Arab nations, Malka said hopefully what “we see now, we will see more of this process and this momentum”.

Arab countries are now becoming friends and peace partners of Israel, he noted.

“This for us is very important, very exciting. I think it is just the beginning of a new era. It is very important to understand…what is the message that is embedded. It is sending a message to the Palestinians that ‘they (Arab nations) are not going to wait anymore,” he said.

The big message coming from the world is that they “are not going to wait anymore as you (Palestinians) don’t accept realities (and) you still live in fantasies,” Malka said.

The diplomat further said the world and even the Arab world is not going to wait anymore for the Palestinians because everyone has realised what happened in the past as twice Israel offered what Palestinians asked for but still they could not accept the “very existence of Israel”.

He said the world now understands that “there is no conflict between Israel and the Muslim world or between Israel and the Arab world. There is a local territorial conflict between Israel and Palestinians, nothing more than that.”

He alleged that some political organisations tried to pretend as if there was a conflict between Jews and Muslims, but this was not the case.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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