Palestine recalls envoy to Pakistan over appearance with Hafiz Saeed

Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija informed New Delhi on Saturday that the Palestinian National Authority had decided to recall its Ambassador to Pakistan Walid Abu Ali for sharing a stage with Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.

“What he did was not acceptable to my government. Palestine has very close ties with India and has always supported India’s fight against terror. As a result [Ambassador Ali] has been recalled to Ramallah by the government,” Ambassador Al Haija told The Hindu.

Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija

India had earlier conveyed its protest on the matter to Al Haija, who met with Secretary, Economic Relations, Vijay Gokhale, at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday.

“Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan’s association with ‘terrorist’ Hafiz Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on 29.12.2017, is unacceptable,” a statement issued by the MEA after the meeting said, adding that India had taken up the matter in both New Delhi and Ramallah, and had “taken note” of the Palestinian diplomat’s assurances.

“The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their ambassador’s presence at this event. They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in the war against terrorism, and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India,” the government said.

On Friday, the Palestinian Ambassador to Pakistan attended a rally by Difa-e-Pakistan at Rawalpindi’s Liaqat Bagh, and was photographed with Saeed.

It is pertinent to mention here that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Palestine in early 2018.



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