P Jayaram

New Delhi, June 6:

India should appoint a Special Envoy for the Middle East and play a “good role” in resolving the region’s protracted dispute, Palestinian Ambassador Osama Musa has said. “India should start playing a role by naming an envoy for the Middle East, just as Europe, the UN and Russia have done,” the former air force officer-turned diplomat said in an interview. “India can play a good role as it is the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement. India has good relations with Israel and we have good relations with India,” he added. According to Musa, most Arab people respect India and value its support for the Palestinian cause.

Asked if he had suggested the appointment of a Special Envoy for the Middle East to the Indian government, he said: “Yes, we have. And I think they have tried to, but the problem is Israel did not accept. He said India always supported the Palestinian cause and it continued to do so during the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. But Musa said the previous Indian government’s decision to forge close military and security ties with Israel had “affected the feelings of the Arab nations and the Palestinians.”