At NAM summit, Jaishankar pitches for two-state solution for Gaza crisis

The External Affairs Minister says “this humanitarian crisis requires a sustainable solution that gives immediate relief to those most affected”

Updated - January 20, 2024 10:24 am IST

Published - January 20, 2024 12:36 am IST - NEW DELHI

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivers India’s statement at the 19th NAM Summit, in Kampala on Friday.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivers India’s statement at the 19th NAM Summit, in Kampala on Friday. | Photo Credit: ANI

The violence in Gaza requires a “sustainable solution”, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday. Speaking at the NAM summit in Ugandan capital Kampala, he drew attention to the ongoing violence and urged to prevent spread of the violence to other parts of the West Asian region. Mr. Jaishankar’s remarks came in the backdrop of the strong criticism that the Israeli military attacks on Gaza Strip has drawn at the NAM summit.

“Right now, the conflict in Gaza is understandably uppermost in our minds. This humanitarian crisis requires a sustainable solution that gives immediate relief to those most affected. We must also be clear that terrorism and hostage taking are unacceptable,” said Mr. Jaishankar. He also referred to the crisis in Ukraine and cautioned that modern conflicts “anywhere has consequences everywhere.”

Mr. Jaishankar urged for establishing a free Palestinian state saying, “we must seek a two-state solution where the Palestinian people can live within secure borders. Our collective endeavours should focus on making this realisable.” The NAM summit has seen some strong condemnation of the Israeli actions against Gaza strip, including several countries like Cuba, “Since October 7, we have witnessed one of the cruelest genocidal acts ever to be recorded by history,” said Cuban vice-president Salvador Valdes Mesa on Friday.

Explained | Where does India stand on the Israel-Hamas war? 

Humanitarian assistance

Mr. Jaishankar, however, avoided condemnation of any side in the conflict and reiterated the humanitarian assistance that New Delhi has extended to the Palestinians so far, saying, “India has so far provided 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid on a bilateral basis, including 16.5 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies in two tranches to the people of Palestine.” Mr. Jaishankar’s visit to Kampala came shortly after he returned from a trip to Tehran where he discussed the regional situation and the threats to maritime security in the Red Sea that has escalated in recent weeks after the Houthis tried to enforce a naval blockade targeting ships heading to Israel.

Both Mr. Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been in contact with regional stakeholders since the conflict erupted on October 7. On Friday, Mr Jaishankar met Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. “Appreciate his assessment and insights on the ongoing conflict in Gaza. We also noted the continued progress of our bilateral cooperation following the exchange of visits of our leaders in 2023,” said Mr. Jaishankar in a social media post on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) after his meeting with Mr. Shoukry.

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