Saudi Arabia greatly values India's support to Palestinian people: Saudi envoy

New Delhi, Dec 4 (PTI) Saudi Arabia greatly values India's support to the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights which was reiterated by a recent message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Saudi envoy Saud Mohammed Al-Sati said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month expressed hope for an early resumption of talks between Israel and Palestine to move towards a comprehensive and negotiated resolution, as he reiterated India's 'strong support' for the Palestinian cause.

Modi in a message had extended his best wishes to the Palestinian people 'in their pursuit of statehood, peace and prosperity'.

Al-Sati, who was speaking at an event organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, said Saudi Arabia 'greatly values' the support of India to the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights.

'This valuable support has been reiterated by the recent message of prime minister of India on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,' he said.

Al-Sati was joined by Ambassador of the State of Palestine Adnan M J Abualhayjaa.

Abualhayjaa also appreciated the support of the Indian government and all countries who expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people.

'We renew our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the people and government of India and to all countries, governments and organisations and people that have expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people, supported their struggle and strengthened the determination and steadfastness in their bleakest hours across history,' Abualhayjaa said.

PM Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Palestine last year. During his historic visit to Palestine, the two sides had signed agreements worth around USD 50 million that included setting up of a USD 30 million super speciality hospital.

Hitting out at the US, Abualhayjaa said it was seen again that the US administration violated international law and proved it is unqualified to be an honest broker.

'Two weeks ago, the US Secretary of State declared that Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, do not contravene international law. This position was rejected by us and by the international community at large,' he said, adding, 'This statement is null and void, is illegitimate and without legal effect, and stands in complete contravention of international law and UN resolutions, including Security Council resolutions.' Al-Sati said Saudi Arabia also condemned the announcement by the US.

'Saudi Foreign minister reaffirmed the kingdom's rejection of the US position and stressed the need to find a just solution to the issue,' he said.

Israel has built about 140 settlements since its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are widely considered illegal under international law. The US recently said that it no longer believes the Israeli settlements are illegal. PTI UZM SMN SMN