India's vote in the UN's ECOSOC against a Palestinian NGO should not in any way be construed as a vote against the Palestinian cause, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.
In a rare move, India on June 6 voted in favour of Israel in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to deny the Palestinian non-governmental organisation "Shahed" the observer status, after Israel said the organisation did not disclose its ties with Hamas.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the vote should not be in any way be construed as a vote against the Palestinian cause.
"We voted in favour of a proposal which was submitted by Israel at the Economic and Social Council of the UN for further scrutiny by the committee on NGOs. The proposal was submitted by Israel based on information that the NGO allegedly has close contacts with terrorist organisations," he said.
Mr Kumar said the vote was is in line with India's position on greater scrutiny by the NGO committee of the consultive status application for possible terrorist linkages and to screen the NGO application with the sanctions list of the UN Security Council before ECOSOC NGO status is granted to them.
"Again, it should not be seen as something linked to the Palestinian cause. It is something we have done in the past. It was done so that proper vetting is done before it is admitted as an ECOSOC observer," the MEA spokesperson said.
The ECOSOC vote, which took place at the UN, saw countries such as the US, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, South Korea and Canada polling in favour of Israel, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others voted against it
The proposal made by the Palestinian NGO "Shahed" to obtain observer status in the UN was rejected by a 28-14 vote.