Voicing serious concern over deteriorating situation in the Middle East following Israeli military offensive in Lebanon, India has asked all parties to eschew violence and return to the path of negotiations to save the region from possible wider conflict.
Intervening in a debate on the situation in the Middle East, India's UN Ambassador Nirupam Sen on Friday sharply criticised the Security Council for not taking action despite severe escalation in the conflict, a looming humanitarian crisis and "distinct" possibility of spillover of the conflict beyond the region.
"The international community needs to call for an immediate halt to hostilities on all sides, counsel utmost restraint, especially in the excessive use of force by Israel and urge return to dialogue," he told the Council members.
Strongly condemning both abduction of Israeli soldiers and "excessive and disproportionate" military retaliation by the Jewish state, Sen slammed Tel Aviv for targeting civilian infrastructure, including the Beirut airport.
The responsibility to protect women and children in an armed conflict has to be "real and not theoretical," he said.
There can be no justification for targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, Sen asserted, adding this merits "condemnation and is contrary to international law."
It is India's firm conviction, he said, that lasting peace and security in the region, which is not only in the interest of countries of the region but also the whole world, can be achieved only through a peaceful dialogue and not through the use of force.