At Munich, Jaishankar calls for ‘permanent’, ‘long-term fix’ to Israel-Palestine conflict

New Delhi, Feb 17 : External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Saturday said a permanent and long-term fix to the Israel-Palestine conflict is necessary to avoid what the world witnessed on October 7 last year when Hamas launched surprise attacks from Gaza.

Speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Growing the Pie: Seizing Shared Opportunities’ at the ongoing Munich Security Conference, the minister stressed the necessity and urgency of a two-state solution. “There has to be a permanent fix, a long-term fix, otherwise, we are going to see a recurrence,” Jaishankar said when asked about India’s views on the spiralling conflict that has seen at least 28,858 Palestinians dead and 68,667 wounded since the hostilities broke last year.

Stating that India has long believed in a two-state solution, the minister said many more countries in the world feel that the two-state solution is not just necessary, “but it is more urgent than it was before”.

The solution has long been suggested as the best hope for peace in the region, which would see an independent Palestinian state established alongside the existing one of Israel.

However, deciding what the borders of a potential Palestinian state would be has turned out to be the biggest obstacle with both the warring parties seeing the two-state solution as an impossibility. Jaishankar was participating in the session along with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

On being asked by Financial Times’ editor Roula Khalaf what advice he would give to them, Jaishankar said: “Well, I don’t have advice for my colleagues, though I particularly think all of us follow the enormous efforts which Antony (Blinken) is putting in right now. But the way we look at it, there are different dimensions, different elements to this.”

Elaborating further, the External Affairs Minister said that what happened on October 7 was “terrorism” and that Israel “should be, should have been very mindful of civilian casualties”.

Calling the return of the hostages imperative, Jaishankar added that there is a need for a “sustainable humanitarian corridor” to provide relief to the people in war-ravaged areas.

The 60th Munich Security Conference, which began on Friday, is currently underway at Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich and is being held under the chairmanship of the German Ambassador to the US, Christoph Heusgen.

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