Addressing leaders whose position has been at odds with India on the issue of Gaza ceasefire, Jaishankar said this can only happen with a 2-State solution that is based on peaceful co-existence and that India had been consistently supportive of international efforts towards that end.The minister, who filled in for PM Narendra Modi, condemned civilian deaths, sought efforts for lasting solutions and said there should be no compromise on terrorism.
Among all Brics member-states, including the 6 newly added countries, only India and Ethiopia didn’t back the resolution that came up last month at the UNGA for a humanitarian truce. India abstained because the resolution didn’t explicitly condemn the Hamas terror attacks. Jaishankar said it was important to address all aspects of the conflict and to prioritise. “Our endeavour should be to both make a difference on the ground immediately while also creating conditions for lasting solutions,” he said.
The summit saw South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the Brics extraordinary meeting on Gaza, accusing Israel of committing war crimes and saying that the deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza was tantamount to genocide. Ramaphosa also called for holding Hamas accountable for its attacks on civilians and for taking hostages.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping also attended the meeting. While Putin sought ceasefire in Gaza and blamed the US for the crisis, Xi suggested an international peace conference to end the conflict and work towards an early solution to the Palestine question that is “comprehensive, just, and sustainable”.
Jaishankar said in his remarks that the conflict in Gaza was causing immense human suffering, including to civilians, elderly, women and children and welcomed 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, reiterating India’s position.
The minister, however, also said that the immediate crisis was triggered by the Hamas terrorist attack and that nobody should compromise on the issue of terrorism. “Hostage taking is equally unacceptable and cannot be condoned. Subsequent developments have deepened our concern even more as we witness large scale civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis,” he said, adding that PM Narendra Modi has highlighted the need to create conditions for peace and restart direct and meaningful peace negotiations.
EAM Dr S Jaishankar: “Need for urgent humanitarian assistance in Gaza amid Israel-Hamas war”
The minister recalled how, over the years, India has supported the socio-economic welfare of the Palestinian people and strengthening of their national institutions and that India’s development partnership is geared towards these objectives.
“Along with the need for restraint and immediate humanitarian support, India also emphasizes peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy,” he said, adding that the economic assistance to Palestine, developmental projects there and financial support to Palestinian Authority reflected India’s position.