New Delhi: Israel said Friday that the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India, and hoped that the Narendra Modi government would settle the issue in a democratic and peaceful manner.
“As we see it, it’s within Indian borders, something that is internal in India, an Indian issue,” said Ron Malka, the Israeli ambassador to India.
“We know India is the biggest democracy in the world, (it) respects individual rights, respects the rule of law and I am sure India will resolve this issue in democratic ways and in peaceful ways and that’s what we are just waiting to see.”
Malka, who was interacting with the Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents, said that India continued to be a “close and precious friend” of Israel, and both sides cooperated with each other on issues related to counter-terrorism, among other things.
On the recently-cancelled visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India, the envoy said it happened due to “scheduling issues” and does not imply that India is any less important a partner.
Netanyahu was scheduled to arrive in India for a day-long visit on 9 September to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is the second time this year that he has cancelled a visit to India — he did the same in April too.
Elections in Israel
Netanyahu is the longest-serving prime minister of Israel, having been in the chair since 2009. He broke the record of David Ben-Gurion, the founder of the state of Israel and its first PM, who ruled from 1948-54, and again from 1955-63.
However, after the elections in April this year, Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party failed to stitch together a coalition. The country’s lawmakers then dissolved the Knesset, its Parliament, and called for fresh polls. The country will vote on 17 September.
“This is a reflection of true democracy. There were elections, no one could form a coalition, so we are having re-elections. The fact that we are going for another election has nothing to do with instability. Israel is a very stable country,” Malka said.