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EAM Jaishankar speaks to Israeli counterpart, reaffirms commitment to counter terror, pursue two-state solution

EAM Jaishankar speaks to Israeli counterpart, reaffirms commitment to counter terror, pursue two-state solution
EAM Jaishankar speaks to Israeli counterpart, reaffirms commitment to counter terror, pursue two-state solution 5

New Delhi: Amid the offensive against the terror group Hamas in Gaza, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday had a telephone conversation with his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, reaffirming India’s commitment to “countering terrorism, observance of international humanitarian law and for a two-state solution”.

“Spoke this afternoon with FM Eli Choen of Israel. Appreciated his sharing the Israeli assessment of the current situation. Reiterated our firm commitment to countering terrorism, observance of international humanitarian law and for a two-state solution,” Jaishankar posted from his official handle on X.

The discussion centred on the prevailing situation in Gaza and the significance of finding a solution that ensures regional stability and peace.

Reiterating India’s firm stance against terrorism, Jaishankar underscored the nation’s unwavering commitment to countering the menace. He also emphasised the necessity of observing international humanitarian law, ensuring that civilian lives are protected in conflict zones.

During the conversation, he also articulated India’s steadfast support for a two-state solution to decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict.

Earlier, on Friday, at the Joint Secretary Session of the Senate’s External Affairs and Defence Commission in Rome, Jaishankar highlighted the importance of addressing issues faced by the Palestinian people and the significance of resolving the conflict through dialogue and negotiation rather than conflict and terrorism.

He said while terrorism is “unacceptable”, there also needs to be a solution to the Palestine issue.

Addressing the session, Jaishankar said, “What happened on October 7 was a big act of terrorism, the subsequent acts happening after that. This has taken the entire region into a different direction. But surely, it must be everybody’s hope that eventually…the conflict can’t be the normal of the region and that it comes back to some stability, some cooperation.”

Noting that a balance needs to be struck on different issues, the EAM reiterated New Delhi’s position of a ‘two-state’ solution in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“Within this we have to find a balance between different issues. Because there is no question. If there is issue of terrorism, and we all find terrorism unacceptable, we have to stand up. But there is also an issue of Palestine. There has to be solution for the problems faced by the Palestinian people,” Jaishankar said.

Reaffirming support to the two-state solution to the ongoing West Asian crisis, he emphasized that dialogue and negotiations are imperative to reaching a resolution.

“Our view is that it has to be a two-state solution. If you have to find a solution, you have to find a solution through dialogue and negotiation. You cannot find a solution through conflict and terrorism. So we would support that as well. Given the current situation…we do believe that humanitarian law must be respected. In any complex situation, it is not wise to not get the balance right,” he added.

India has always advocated for a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine that prevails side by side at peace with Israel.

“India has always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine living within secure and recognised borders side by side at peace with Israel. That position remains the same,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in light of the October 7 Hamas attacks in southern Israel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first global leaders to condemn the terror attacks and express solidarity with Israel.

On October 7, over 2,000 Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel by land, sea and air, unleashing horrific coordinated attacks that claimed over 1,400 lives. They also took over 200 people as hostages.

In response, Israel launched a fierce counter-offensive targeting Hamas sites in Gaza. At least 9,488 Palestinians have been killed, so far, in Israel’s air and ground offensive in Gaza since the October 7 attacks.

The region is reeling under a humanitarian crisis and rights groups have urged more aid than what is reaching the civilians there currently, according to reports.

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