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Russia-Ukraine conflict matter of "deep concern," says Jaishankar
Vienna: Emphasizing that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a matter of "deep concern," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday (Local Time) that India is on the side of peace and therefore has been urging both the countries to return to dialogue and diplomacy.
Voicing concern on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar in an interaction with the Indian diaspora said, "For us, this conflict is really a matter of very very deep concern. It is a deep concern because as PM Modi declared in September we actually believe that this is no longer an era of war where you cannot settle differences and issues through violence and conflict." "So from the very beginning, our effort has been to urge or to return to dialogue and diplomacy. We continued to press on. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has spoken on numerous occasions with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I myself talk to my colleagues in Russia and Ukraine," he added.
He asked the countries, who believe that the only solution must lie through negotiation, to speak up clearly in that regard. "we are on the side of peace, and a large part of the world thinks similarly to us," Jaishankar added.
Earlier, in September, on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand, PM Modi held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said "today's era isn't of war."
"Today's era isn't of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we'll get the opportunity to talk about how can we progress on the path of peace. India-Russia has stayed together with each other for several decades," the Prime Minister said.
Jaishankar, who is on an official visit to Austria, described the problem with China as an "intense challenge" and took a dig at Pakistan and said that the problem of cross-border terrorism from Islamabad is still continuing.
"Now, I spoke to you about the changes in governance. Let me also say that there have been obvious in this period, very profound changes in our national security. And a lot of that, of course, is centred around more intense challenges that we face on our northern border with China. I think most of you would be familiar with that," Jaishankar said.
"We continue to have, of course, the problem of cross-border terrorism with Pakistan," he added.
During his visit, S Jaishankar also held a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. He tweeted, "Delighted to see my good friend Alexander Schallenberg in Vienna. My first diplomatic engagement was in 2023. Thank him for inviting us to join the traditional New Year's concert in Vienna."
In the press release, the Ministry of External Affairs noted, "This will be the first EAM-level visit from India to Austria in the last 27 years, and takes place against the backdrop of 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2023." (ANI)