Gaza facing humanitarian crisis, needs aid, says EAM S Jaishankar

Israel declares Lashkar-e-Taiba as 'terror organisation'

Jaishankar with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong after the 14th India-Australia Foreign Ministers Framework Dialogue, in New Delhi on Tuesday

Subhayan Chakraborty New Delhi

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The Gaza enclave in Palestine faces a humanitarian crisis and needs humanitarian aid "very urgently", said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday.

Addressing the press after the India-Australia Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue meeting in Delhi, Jaishankar said the conflict between Israel and Hamas figured in his discussions with Australia’s Penny Wong.

Referring to Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, Jaishankar said there can be no compromise on the issue of terrorism. Israel has requested India to recognise Hamas as a terrorist organisation and on Tuesday it declared Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based group blamed for deadly attacks on Mumbai in 2008, as a terrorist organisation.

"There is a second set of issues. That is the humanitarian crisis we see in Gaza today; the need for humanitarian assistance, which is very urgent, and the observance of international humanitarian law. The third set of issues relates to the rights and the future of the Palestinians. That too needs to have a solution," he said.

India and many other countries are of the view a two-state solution may solve the Palestinian issue, he said.

Talks on Quad

"Today, we are seeing a momentum in our economic engagement, educational links and people to people ties. We are working hard to expand this cooperation," said Wong about Australia’s relationship with India.

Representatives of the two counties met for the second India-Australia 2+2 meeting in Delhi on Monday but no statement was issued.

Jaishankar is expected to attend the Indian Ocean Conference in Perth, Australia, in February next year. His visit is expected to see Australia hosting 'Raisina Down Under', its version of the External Affairs Ministry' Raisina Dialogues.

Australia and India have the largest Indian Ocean coastlines and they are partners in the four-nation Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) alliance, along with the United States, and Japan. India will host the Quad Leaders Summit early next year.

"The Quad has made enormous progress in the last few years. The natural inclination is to push the envelope and find new converges. Lot of our conversation today centered around what more could we do to add to the Quad," said Jaishankar.

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"Australia has a good, strong and close relationship with us (India). It was important that Australia get our perspective on the issue. From our point of view, the key issue is really the space which has been given to extremism and radicalism in Canada," said Jaishankar.

First Published: Nov 21 2023 | 5:35 PM IST

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