India has acknowledged that Israel's Gaza blockade has created a humanitarian crisis but asserted that the problem cannot be resolved through unilateral means.
At a press conference, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, who has arrived here after participating in a security conference in Turkey, said: “ This [blockade by Israel] has created a humanitarian crisis of immense proportion [and] the international community collectively has a duty to address it and give relief to the civilian population.”
Mr. Sharma made his remarks at a time when the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), which is the overarching group behind the Gaza aid flotilla that Israel raided on May 31, has announced it would breach the Gaza blockade unilaterally by sending more ships, within the next two months.
Israeli media is also reporting that the German-Jewish organisation, Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East, is also on its own, preparing a flotilla that would sail to the Gaza strip in July.
The Minister “deplored the [Israeli] attack on the ship and the killings of the people” on board, which he said had further aggravated the already tense situation. Mr. Sharma said it was important for regional players “to create an environment for negotiations, and a lasting solution can only be in a two-nation formula that India supports.”
In his inaugural address at the India Business Summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Mr. Sharma said India was set to emerge as the world's third largest economy within the next 15 years.
“Our GDP which is $1.3 trillion is bound to double within the next five years and quadruple in less than one-and-a-half decades, will in real terms make India the third largest in the world.”
He also said the government had been working on a policy document that would help usher in a second green revolution, attract more investment in agriculture and beef up food security.