Thursday, September 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

India, Israel vow to end terror
Sharon cuts short visit
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
India and Israel tonight condemned those states and individuals “who aid and abet cross-border terrorism and harbour and provide sanctuaries to terrorists and provide them with financial means, training or patronage” — a diplomatic phraseology which is aimed at pleasing both New Delhi and Tel Aviv by taking care of their respective political compulsions at home.

A three-page “Delhi Statement on Friendship and Cooperation between India and Israel” released tonight after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon flew back home cutting short his India visit called for the establishment of a just and durable peace in West Asia.

Mr Sharon today cut short his visit to India, cancelled the Mumbai leg of his visit after two bomb blasts in Tel Aviv last night and left for home tonight.

“Terrorism undermines the very foundation of freedom and democracy, endangers the continued existence of open and democratic societies and constitutes a global threat; therefore, there cannot be any compromise in the war against terrorism. Together with the international community and as victims of terrorism, Israel and India are partners in the battle against this scourge. In line with their adherence to UNSCR 1373, they strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and call upon the international community to take decisive action against this global menace and condemn states and individuals who aid and abet terrorism across borders, harbour and provide sanctuary to terrorists and provide them with financial means, training or patronage,” the Delhi Statement says.

Significantly, the Delhi Statement, which does not contain anybody’s signatures, drops not-so-subtle subtle hints of differences in the two countries’ perceptions on the issue of terrorism. It says, “The two sides expressed their respective views and called for a complete cessation of violence, so that a conducive environment is created for continuation of the dialogue.” The stress on the words “respective views” is unmistakable, sources pointed out.

Israelis wanted a reference to “Palestinian terrorism” in the Delhi Statement which India refused. The Israelis insisted on the phrase “Palestinian terrorism”, arguing that when they stood shoulder to shoulder with India when it came to terrorism in Kashmir why couldn’t India do the same.

India’s measured response was that Palestine and Kashmir problems had no similarity.

It is understood that difference of opinions between the two sides on the issue of terrorism vis-à-vis Palestine and Kashmir was so much that at one stage the Israelis even toyed with the idea of not going for the customary joint statement at all. In diplomatese, a joint statement is considered to be an important symbol of a successful visit.

However, the Israelis later realised that the absence of a joint statement would send wrong signals and dilute or perhaps even undermine Mr Sharon’s path-breaking India visit.

In the Delhi Statement, India and Israel emphasised the pressing need for complete cessation of violence in West Asia to create a conducive atmosphere for resolving the lingering crisis in the region.

The statement skips mentioning anything about the growing defence cooperation between the two countries and expresses satisfaction over the growth in bilateral economic and commercial relations.

The statement also says that Mr Sharon invited Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to visit Israel and Mr Vajpayee accepted the invitation “with pleasure”. If Mr Vajpayee travels to Tel Aviv at a later date, he would be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.

Meanwhile, Mr Sharon today expressed his country’s readiness to jointly combat terrorism with India to build a better future for their people, saying that the menace of international terrorism has become the “enemy of freedom and democracy.”

“A relentless battle against terrorism is needed to ensure peace and prosperity,” Mr Sharon said while addressing a business meet organised by FICCI and CII.

Mr Sharon said that his government was prepared to make “painful concessions for the sake of genuine peace” in West Asia but stated that it will not compromise on the security of its citizens. He described his India visit as “productive” and said relations between the two countries should be “based on reciprocity”. Mr Sharon announced the decision to launch Israeli telescope on an Indian satellite and said “It is symbolic that the two nations, which are deeply rooted in history, are working together in peace which will help ensure a better future for us all.”

He described India and Israel as “two natural business partners”.


Israel for trilateral axis with India, USA
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Yosef Lapid today said an “unwritten and abstract” axis with India and the USA had been created to combat international terrorism and announced that his country would sell three Phalcon Airborne Early Warning System to India.

Mr Lapid said this axis would make the world a more secure place. “There is mutual interest of the three countries in making the world a more secure place for all of us. There is American support for development of this unwritten axis”.

Replying to questions on the issue, he told reporters that there was “no formal triangular agreement” on such an axis among the US, India and Israel, but “in the abstract sense, we are creating such an axis”. In this context, Mr Lapid also referred to the recent remarks by a US State Department spokesman voicing the hope that Indo-Israeli relations would flourish.

Talking about the Phalcon deal, he said: “There is no obstacle in the sale of Phalcon as the USA has given its approval,” adding that the time-frame for the deal was yet to be finalised.

However, the issue of sale of surface-to-air Arrow ballistic missile would be hanging fire for the time- being as this missile was developed with US collaboration and Washington was yet to give its approval for the sale.

It is understood that India has been assured by Israel that it will not be selling the Phalcons to an enemy country. Mr Lapid was asked a question in this regard and he ruled out the sale of weapons by Israel to Pakistan. Mr Lapid made a significant remark which he did not elaborate when he said Israel could also help India in giving equipment for electronic fencing.

On Kashmir, Mr Lapid made it clear that Israel had no intention of mediating between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue and remarked: “We respect India’s sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir”.


PM phones Sharon to flay blasts
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee telephoned his visiting Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon this morning and condemned last night’s terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv.

Mr Vajpayee said he was sorry that Mr Sharon was returning home in such sad circumstances and told him, “Our hearts go out to families of the victims of terrorists.”

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |