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SOURCE: ANI

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held a meeting with Israeli counterpart Israel Katz on Monday and discussed the ongoing situation in West Asia. During the telephonic conversation, the two leaders talked about India’s views, assessments and interests in that regard. S Jaishankar and Israel Katz agreed to remain in touch.

In a post on X, Jaishankar stated, “Good to talk to Israeli FM @Israel_katz. Discussed the ongoing situation in West Asia. Spoke about India’s views, assessments and interests in that regard. Agreed to stay in touch.” The war in Gaza continues after Israel launched a counter-offensive in response to the Hamas attack on October 7.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first global leaders to condemn the horrific terror attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7. However, India has also continued with its weight behind the ‘two-state solution’ to the long-running Israel-Palestine conflict. India also sent humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza as part of its commitment. Earlier in December, India released the second tranche of USD 2.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Thursday.

With this, India also fulfilled its annual contribution of USD 5 million for 2023-24, the Indian Embassy in Palestine said in a statement. On January 19, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed the pressing issue of the conflict in Gaza while emphasising the need for a sustainable solution to the humanitarian crisis. Delivering India’s National Statement at the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Kampala, Jaishankar asserted that “terrorism and hostage-taking are unacceptable.” He underscored the importance of respecting international humanitarian law by all states involved. “Right now, the conflict in Gaza is understandably uppermost in our minds.

This humanitarian crisis requires a sustainable solution that gives immediate relief to those most affected,” said the EAM. “We must also be clear that terrorism and hostage-taking are unacceptable. At the same time, international humanitarian law must always be respected by all states,” he also said.

Speaking on the Gaza conflict, Jaishankar added that it is also “imperative that conflict does not spread within or beyond the region.” Reiterating India’s long-standing stance on a two-state solution, the External Affairs Minister said, “But in the final analysis, we must seek a two-state solution where the Palestinian people can live within secure borders. Our collective endeavours should focus on making this realisable.” Jaishankar emphasised that collective efforts should focus on realising this solution and promoting peace and stability. He also highlighted the interconnectedness of global issues, noting that growth and progress depend on peace and stability.