R Ravindra, India’s deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, said only a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine can deliver enduring peace. Israel’s devastating military campaign has killed over 25,000 Palestinians in Gaza and sparked international alarm.
New York: A top Indian diplomat on Tuesday raised concerns in the United Nations Security Council over the threats to the safety of maritime commercial traffic in the Indian Ocean, including some attacks near India, due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. R Ravindra, the Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN said the conflict has a direct bearing on India’s own energy and economic interests and the situation must be recognised.
“The ongoing conflict is also impacting the safety of maritime commercial traffic in the Indian Ocean, including some attacks in the vicinity of India. This is a matter of great concern to the international community and has a direct bearing on India’s own energy and economic interests. This fraught situation is not to the benefit of any party, and this must be clearly recognised,” Ravindra told members of the UNSC.
The deputy Indian envoy stressed that India has conveyed a clear message since the beginning of the war to prevent the escalation of the conflict and the continued delivery of humanitarian aid. He also highlighted India’s assistance to Palestinians in war-torn Gaza by delivering shipments of relief material and providing $5 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Reiterating New Delhi’s long-standing support for a two-state solution, Ravindra said India firmly believes that only this solution, achieved through direct and meaningful negotiations between both sides on final status issues, will deliver an enduring peace that the people of Israel and Palestine desire and deserve.
“For this, we urge all parties to de-escalate, eschew violence, avoid provocative and escalatory actions, and work towards creating conditions for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations,” he said. Meanwhile, Uzra Zeya, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights of the US, called on Israeli leaders to take feasible precautions to minimise civilian harm in line with international law.
She also emphasised Hamas’ role in unleashing the conflict and condemned attacks in the wider region by Iran and its proxies. She also called for a strong Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza, even if this was “difficult to imagine”. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the 15-member Council that any refusal to accept the two-state solution by any party must be firmly rejected and stressed that Israeli leaders’ recent, clear and repeated rejection of a two-state solution is unacceptable.
UNGA President praises India on Security Council reform
Meanwhile, UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis praised India for its engagement in UN Security Council reform, even as he acknowledged that progress on the issue has been “too slow”. “Well, I am acutely aware that India together with its G4 negotiating bloc on Security Council Reform, are clearly for a much more ambitious timeline to conclude the process within a period of two years,” he said.