PA recalls envoy to Pakistan after India objects to appearance with terrorist

Palestine recalled its envoy after strong protest from India, pointing out, it highly values its relationship with the country.

"The State of Palestine stands with the Republic of India in dealing with terrorist threats".

The blunder was committed by Palestine's ambassador to Pakistan, who was seen sharing the stage with designated terrorist and 26/11 Mumbai Attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed in Pakistan's Rawalpindi.

It said that concerns were conveyed in both New Delhi to the Palestinian Ambassador and in Ramallah to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, State of Palestine.

". the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held [.] in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified", said the Palestinian foreign ministry's statement, without naming Saeed.

In a statement, the MEA said the Palestinian side has conveyed "deep regrets" over the incident and assured India that they are taking serious cognisance of their ambassador's presence at this event.

Ambassador Walid Abu Ali joined the stage with the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder at an event organised by jihadi groups on Friday, just days after New Delhi backed a United Nations General Assembly resolution that denounced Washington's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The meeting generated sharp reactions from the foreign ministry, saying that it would take up the matter "strongly".

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Pakistan has refused extradition requests from the U.S. for Saeed and allows him to operate relatively freely.

"We take note of the assurances given by the Palestine side", the statement added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to visit Palestine in early 2018, and the decision of the Palestinian diplomat to support one of India's most wanted terrorists could have cast a shadow on the plans for the visit. He will report to Ramallah soon", Alhaijaa said."We share historical ties with India, which are close and friendly...

Ali and Saeed shared the state during the event. "He (Walid Abu Ali) did not know terrorist Hafiz Saeed".

The widely circulated picture of Abu Ali sharing a stage with Saeed in Rawalpindi, which also houses the headquarters of the Lashkar boss's mentor the Pakistan Army, led to strong outrage in official circles, coming as it does close on the heels of India going against the USA in a vote in the United Nations on the American decision to support Israel's move to declare Jerusalem its capital.

Palestine wants to maintain a healthy relationship with India.

Palestinians deeply value the true voices of solidarity with our struggle for self-determination in Pakistan and India alike, and this solidarity can only be based on a common commitment to freedom, justice and equality as well as respect for global law.

  • Sonia Alvarado