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Jaishankar calls for peaceful resolution of West Asian crisis

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Monday called for a carefully balanced policy to resolve the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine that has reportedly claimed more than 11,000 lives so far. The minister was speaking at an extraordinary joint meeting of the BRICS group of countries on the West Asian crisis.

Jaishankar condemned the 7 October attacks by militant group Hamas on Israel but said that steps should be taken to ensure that humanitarian relief reaches the population of Gaza. “The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza is causing immense human suffering, including to civilians,elderly, women and children. We welcome all efforts of the international community towards de-escalation. Right now, there is an urgent need to ensure that humanitarian aid and relief effectively and safely reach the population of Gaza. It is also imperative that all hostages are released. We believe that there is a universal obligation to observe international humanitarian law,” he said, addressing the leaders of BRICS member countries, including Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping.

While the minister took a strong stance against terrorism, he also stressed the need for restraint by countries and repeated India’s call for a peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy. This can only happen with the two-state solution that is based on peaceful coexistence, he said.

India’s top diplomat also emphasized New Delhi’s support for Palestine. “Our economic assistance to Palestine, developmental projects there and financial support to Palestinian Authority reflect our position. India remains supportive of the UN Relief and Welfare Agency’s (UNRWA) role and have been contributing $5 million annually,” Jaishankar said.

“In response to the crisis in Gaza, India has also sent 70 tonnes of humanitarian assistance including 16.5 tonnes of medicines and medical supplies. We thank Egypt for facilitating this delivery. Our relief assistance will continue,” he added.

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Updated: 21 Nov 2023, 11:36 PM IST

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