India on Thursday advocated immediate resumption of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, saying absence of a dialogue would only increase the risk of an escalation of violence between the two sides.
During a Security Council meeting on Palestine, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj reaffirmed New Delhi's unwavering commitment to establishing a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel.
India has consistently called for direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine towards a two-State solution, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for Statehood and Israel's legitimate security concerns. The UN and the international community must prioritise the resumption of these negotiations, Kamboj said.
She asserted that there is no other alternative to a negotiated two-State solution. It is the international community's collective responsibility to send a strong signal against any step preventing the possibility of a two-State solution, Kamboj said.
Welcoming the ceasefire in Gaza Strip, the Indian envoy exhorted the two sides to abide by the ceasefire agreement strictly so that the ongoing diplomatic efforts can strengthen it.
India appreciates efforts of the international community, especially the role of Egypt in this process, she said.
While the focus is on strengthening the ceasefire, Kamboj said the global community must also continue to work together towards a political solution to effectively address the underlying drivers of the dire economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza Strip.
India, she said, remains deeply concerned by developments in the West Bank and Jerusalem, where violent attacks and the killing of civilians have continued during the reporting period.
Acts of destruction and demolition are also continuing. Provocative action and rhetoric have again raised tensions around Jerusalem's holy sites. The historical and legal status-quo at Jerusalem's holy places must be respected and upheld. We are also gravely concerned about the acts of terror and incidents of violence in Israel and the West Bank, she said.
The Indian diplomat urged parties to refrain from unilateral measures that vitiate conditions necessary for promoting peace and instead focus on bridging the trust deficit.
There can be no justification for any act of violence committed against civilians. We have consistently advocated against all acts of violence, especially against women and children, and we reiterate our call for a complete cessation of violence, she said.
Since 2018, India has contributed USD 20 million to the agency's programme budget.
We have also pledged USD 5 million for this year, half of which has already been released. We encourage donors to consider stepping-up their contribution so as to help the Agency overcome its liquidity crisis this year, Kamboj added.
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First Published: Aug 26 2022 | 8:09 AM IST