India supports homeland for Palestinians, says Jaishankar

EAM Jaishankar was speaking at an event titled as ‘India as an Emerging Power’ at Gargi College in the national capital on Wednesday…reports Asian Lite News

Referring to the conflict in the Middle East and the Israel-Palestine issue, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that India supports a homeland for the Palestinians and is public about its stand.

EAM Jaishankar was speaking at an event titled as ‘India as an Emerging Power’ at Gargi College in the national capital on Wednesday.

“So you have a very tense, very complicated situation involving Israel, involving the Palestinians, involving many of the Arab countries, the Gulf monarchies, involving Iran. There was an exchange of fire between the Iranians and the Israelis a few days ago,” he said.

“Now, look at how a ‘Vishwa Bandhu’ (world’s friend) would approach this situation. We were very clear when Israel was attacked by terrorists on October 7, that it was terrorism. We took a clear stance on it. When Israel responded, we also took a position that whenever any military response takes place, it is very important that civilian lives are protected. And if you are displacing civilians, so they are no longer in their their homes, you have to give some kind of humanitarian corridor out there,” Jaishankar said.

In his address at Gargi College, EAM Jaishankar also shared that, on the Prime Minister’s instructions, he personally contacted the foreign ministers of the involved parties, expressing regional concerns and urging restraint.

“I personally called up the two foreign ministers there on the Prime Minister’s instructions and told them, look, the whole region is worried. I mean, we urge you, don’t go forward on this. In terms of the Middle East, we support eventually a homeland for the Palestinians, and we are very public about that as well,” said Jaishankar.

Jaishankar also noted India’s practical contribution to the situation, with around 20 ships deployed in the Red Sea to mitigate attacks on shipping, which disrupt trade and increase costs.

“We also make a practical contribution today. About 20 of our ships are actually in the Red Sea, ensuring that attacks on shipping, which increase the cost of trade, are limited. So, I give you again, just think about how many parties are involved–Israelis, Palestinians, Arab countries, Iranians–and yet we are able to engage all of them,” the EAM stated.

Jaishankar also mentioned the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which started in February 2022, and said, “We had urged students to come home. The vast majority of students stayed and found themselves in the conflict zone. They were in different cultures and different cities.”

Jaishankar mentioned the continuous efforts to engage with neighbouring countries to ensure the safe evacuation of the students while highlighting the role of ‘Vishwa Bandhu’ foreign policy.

“Here is the challenge that we faced: how to bring students from a conflict zone…Think about what it means in terms of how you achieve this. One was to ensure initially that many people could come as soon as possible…There was shooting and bombardment going on…You have to get the governments of other countries to cooperate with you. This is what a Vishwa Bandhu foreign policy works like. We had to continuously contact the five neighbouring countries,” said Jaishankar. (ANI)

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