NYT Pegasus report: Syed Akbaruddin said the insinuation about India's UN vote is utter rubbish. (File)
India's former permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin on Saturday dismissed as "utter rubbish" the "insinuation" in a New York Times report which cited India's 2019 vote in support of Israel at the UN's Economic and Social Council to highlight deepening of ties after a deal that included sale of the Israeli spyware Pegasus.
Tagging a tweet on the NYT report, Mr Akbaruddin, who was India's Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations from 2016-2020, said, "The insinuation about India's UN vote is utter rubbish…"
The media report said the Israeli spyware Pegasus and a missile system were the "centerpieces" of a roughly $2 billion deal of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear between India and Israel in 2017. It also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel in July 2017 - to become the first Indian prime minister to visit the country.
"For decades, India had maintained a policy of what it called 'commitment to the Palestinian cause', and relations with Israel were frosty. The Modi visit, however, was notably cordial, complete with a carefully staged moment of him and (then Israeli) Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu walking together barefoot on a local beach," it said.
"They had reason for the warm feelings. Their countries had agreed on the sale of a package of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear worth roughly USD 2 billion -- with Pegasus and a missile system as the centerpieces," the report said.
"Months later, Netanyahu made a rare state visit to India. And in June 2019, India voted in support of Israel at the UN's Economic and Social Council to deny observer status to a Palestinian human rights organisation, a first for the nation," the report said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)