EAM Jaishankar’s statement on ‘supporting homeland for Palestinians’ re-affirms India’s long-standing stance

New Delhi, May 8 : External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar on Wednesday re-affirmed India’s long-standing support for the establishment of an independent state of Palestine while spotlighting the active role played by Delhi — through its vibrant multi-dimensional ties with the countries in the Middle East and West Asia — to maintain peace in the region.

“There is a very difficult situation going on right now in the Middle East, in West Asia, after the terrorist attack on Israel in October and the Israelis going into Gaza. A lot of people have got killed and fighting is going on even now. In many ways, the problem has escalated,” EAM Jaishankar said while speaking at the ‘Vishwa Bandhu Bharat’ event at Gargi College in the national capital.

“So you have a very tense, very complicated situation involving Israel, involving the Palestinians, involving many of the Arab countries, the Gulf monarchies and also involving Iran. There was an exchange between the Iranians and the Israelis a few days ago, they fired on each other,” S. Jaishankar added.

Detailing how ‘Vishwa Bandhu’ India approached the situation, EAM Jaishankar said that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was absolutely clear about its stance when Israel was attacked by terrorists on October 7, last year.

This included making sure that civilian lives are protected and the creation of humanitarian corridors.

“When Israel and Iran started firing at each other, I personally called up the two foreign ministers on the Prime Minister’s instructions and basically told them that the whole region is worried, urging them not to 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 EAM Jaishankar.

It is not the first time that the government has made public its support for the Palestinian cause.

India’s long-standing policy towards Palestine includes support for a negotiated two-State solution, towards the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine within secure and recognised borders, living side by side in peace with Israel.

At the same time, New Delhi has also “strongly condemned” the terror attacks on Israel and the loss of civilian lives in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, calling for restraint, de-escalation and a peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

On Wednesday, Jaishankar highlighted how India is making a “practical contribution” in the Gulf and the West Asian region that essentially speaks a lot about the success of the country’s foreign policy.

“About 20 of our ships are actually in the Red Sea, making sure that these attacks on shipping, which increases the cost of trade, are limited. Just think how many parties — the Israelis, Palestinians, Arab countries, the Iranians — are out there… yet, we are able to actually engage all of them, talk to all of them and, in many cases, get them to understand our positions and sometimes carry messages from one to another which we often do in such conflict kind of situations.

“So, here again, you see that ability to talk and engage multiple people. I tell people if I were to give to the common person on the street saying ‘give me Indian diplomacy in four words’, it would be ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ – that ability to carry everybody with you… for this, you have to build a track record, they have to believe you,” said EAM Jaishankar.

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