India to push for dialogue and diplomacy to end Ukraine war: Foreign secretary | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

India to push for dialogue and diplomacy to end Ukraine war: Foreign secretary

ByRezul H Laskar
Jun 12, 2024 07:59 PM IST

Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra confirmed a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and his Italian counterpart Georgia Meloni on the sidelines of the G7 Summit

New Delhi: India will continue to push for a return to dialogue and diplomacy to find a resolution to the Russia-Ukraine war, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Wednesday ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s departure for Italy to join an outreach session of the G7 Summit. 

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra (Twitter Photo)
Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra (Twitter Photo)

The summit, being held at the resort of Fasano in Italy’s Apulia region during June 13-15, is set to be dominated by the Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict. While Modi will not participate in the main summit, and the outreach session will focus on issues such as AI, energy and Africa, the Ukraine crisis is expected to figure in his bilateral meetings on the margins of the meeting. 

Kwatra told a media briefing ahead of Modi’s first overseas trip in his third term that it is “quite natural” that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will be one of the global issues that will come up in bilateral meetings, and India will reiterate its perspective, which is well known. 

Also Read: New Delhi pushing Moscow to release Indians in Russian army: Foreign secretary

“We have always maintained that dialogue and diplomacy is the best option,” he said, recalling Modi’s remarks to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a 2022 meeting that “today’s era is not of war”. He said the Indian stance had gathered widespread appreciation and recognition. 

While Kwatra confirmed a bilateral meeting between Modi and his Italian counterpart Georgia Meloni on the sidelines of the G7 Summit, he ducked questions on possible meetings with US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is a special invitee to the summit, by saying the final schedule is still a work in progress. 

Kwatra also said India will participate in the Ukraine peace summit to be hosted by Switzerland at Bürgenstock during June 15-16 “at an appropriate level”, though New Delhi is yet to take a call on who will represent the country. 

“That consideration is currently going on in the system, and as and when we have a decision on the representative from India who’ll be participating, we’ll be very happy to share it with you,” he said. 

People familiar with the matter said both Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar are set to skip this peace summit. 

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, New Delhi has not criticised Moscow’s actions. It has sought an end to hostilities and called on both sides to return to the negotiating table to find a resolution. India has also highlighted the impact of the war, especially the spiralling prices of food, fuel and fertilisers, on countries of the Global South. 

Also Read: Two Indians recruited by Russian Army killed in Ukraine conflict: MEA

Kwatra again highlighted the “derivative impact” of the conflict on food, fuel and fertiliser availability, the challenges to global supply chains and disruptions in the global economy and said, “We have always been at the forefront to talk about not just the conflict, the need for dialogue and diplomacy, but also the way the conflict is impacting the priorities and interests of developing countries.” 

Referring to Modi’s participation in the outreach session of the G7 Summit on June 14, Kwatra said the discussions will focus on AI, energy, Africa and the Mediterranean. India’s participation in the outreach session for the 11th straight year is a recognition of its contributions to tackling global challenges such as peace, security, development and environmental preservation, he said. 

Besides India, the leaders of Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia and Türkiye have been invited to the outreach session. 

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