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Jews Meet with Indian Official on Normalizing Ties with Israel

A meeting here last week between American Jewish organizational leaders and L.K. Advani, head of the Bharatiya Janata Party, India’s main opposition faction, may have advanced the normalization of relations with Israel toward which New Delhi seems to be moving, albeit slowly.

The meeting, also attended by leaders of New York’s Indian community, brought Advani together with a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

Speaking for the group, Kenneth Bialkin, a former conference chairman who is president of the JCRC, thanked the Indian member of Parliament for his long advocacy of improved Israeli-Indian diplomatic ties.

Until now, relations between the two countries have been frigid, bordering on hostile. But India has recently approached the United States for an invitation to the international conference on Middle East regional issues opening in Moscow on Jan. 28.

The Indian regime is aware that all participants in the conference have to have normal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Bialkin expressed hope that normalization will occur soon. He cited the impending establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and China as a precedent for India.

Advani lauded his government’s decision to support last month’s repeal of the 1975 U.N. General Assembly resolution branding Zionism as racism. India was one of the majority of Third World countries that voted for it in 1975.

The Indian legislator also urged the expansion of cultural, scientific and economic relations between Israel and India.

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