January 3, 2023
NEW DELHI – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Monday, expressed deep concern over the Ukraine conflict, saying it was imperative that there was a return to dialogue and diplomacy.
”We sincerely believe that this is not the era of war. Differences must be settled on the negotiating table. Prolonged conflict will not serve the interests of any party,” he said at a press conference with the foreign minister of Austria in Vienna.
Jaishankar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in contact with the leaders of both Russia and Ukraine, pressing India’s point of view in that regard. ”We are also increasingly anxious about the knock-on effects of the conflict in terms of accessibility and affordability of fuel, food and fertilizers. This is a growing concern for the Global South,” he added.
Jaishankar said he had spoken at some length with his Austrian counterpart on the threats to international peace and security that are posed by terrorism, including its cross-border practices, by violent extremism, radicalisation and fundamentalism.
Their effects could not be contained within a region. Especially so when they were deeply connected to narcotics and illegal weapons trade and other forms of international crimes. ”Since the epicenter is located so close to India, naturally our experiences and insights are useful to others,” he added without directly naming Pakistan.
The Indian minister noted that the post-Covid world was seeking greater resilience and reliability of supply chains. Similarly, the digital world was putting a greater emphasis on trust and transparency. ”And we believe that India is part of both solutions.”
Jaishankar observed that India and Austria have a strong meeting of minds on the challenges confronting the international community. ”Whether it is pandemics or climate change, terrorism or cyber security, our interests are indeed very convergent,” he added.