Conflict in Gaza should not spread within or beyond the region: Jaishankar | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Conflict in Gaza should not spread within or beyond the region: Jaishankar

Feb 27, 2024 07:49 PM IST

Jaishankar called for urgent efforts to fix systemic flaws in existing global institutions so that multilateral frameworks can respond to current global realities

NEW DELHI: The world community must ensure the conflict in Gaza doesn’t spread “within or beyond the region” while seeking a two-state solution where Palestinian people can live within secure borders, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar reiterated India’s position that terrorism is unacceptable and a sustainable solution must be found to humanitarian crises arising from conflicts. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar reiterated India’s position that terrorism is unacceptable and a sustainable solution must be found to humanitarian crises arising from conflicts. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

Jaishankar, who made a statement virtually at the session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, emphasised that the situation in Gaza is of “great concern” and reiterated India’s position that terrorism is unacceptable and a sustainable solution must be found to humanitarian crises arising from conflicts.

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He also called for urgent efforts to fix systemic flaws in existing global institutions so that multilateral frameworks can respond to current global realities. It is in the collective interest of nations to work together at the UN and outside to find lasting solutions to geopolitical challenges, he said.

“The conflict in Gaza is of great concern to us all. The humanitarian crises arising from conflicts require a sustainable solution that gives immediate relief to those most affected. At the same time, we must be clear that terrorism and hostage-taking are unacceptable,” he said.

“It also goes without saying that international humanitarian law must always be respected. It is vital that the conflict does not spread within or beyond the region. And efforts must also focus on seeking a two-state solution where Palestinian people can live within secure borders.”

After initially expressing solidarity with Israel in the wake of the October 7 terror attacks by Hamas, India has moved to nuance its position as civilian casualties mounted because of the bombardment of Gaza. The Indian side has said it has a “zero tolerance” policy for terrorism but also called for a return to diplomacy to find a two-state solution.

Hamas killed around 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 220, some of whom were released during a brief ceasefire. More than 27,000 people have been killed in Gaza in the Israeli bombardment, according to Hamas-run authorities.

India’s approach to geopolitical challenges is based on the fact that many people are impacted by choices made by a few, and that genuine dialogue as the only way to find solutions is inevitable, Jaishankar said.

“For this to happen, it is vital that we first recognise that for multilateralism to be credible, effective and responsive, it is now high time to reform outdated structures and fix systemic flaws, and urgently make multilateral frameworks fit for purpose, reflecting current global realities,” Jaishankar said.

New Delhi India has been pressing for reforms in the UN, including the expansion of the Security Council.

Jaishankar said multiple crises confronting the world have highlighted “glaring global inequities”. Against this backdrop, India took the initiative during its G20 presidency to make the African Union a permanent member of the grouping. The G20 Leaders’ Declaration last year also proposed solutions in a range of areas such as digital public infrastructure, climate action, reforming international financial institutions and artificial intelligence (AI).

He said India’s approach to human rights is rooted in democratic principles and pluralistic ethos. “Our Constitution guarantees protection of civil and political rights and provides for progressive realisation of economic, social, and cultural rights,” he added.

He also referred to the upcoming Lok Sabha election, and noted that 2024 is an important year for India’s democracy, with nearly 960 million voters expected to exercise their right to vote. “This is not merely a political exercise but a celebration of democracy, a festival where every voice resonates, and every vote counts,” he said.

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