Important to ensure Israel-Hamas war does not escalate to regional conflict, says PM Modi at G20 virtual summit; bats for two-state solution

Important to ensure Israel-Hamas war does not escalate to regional conflict, says PM Modi at G20 virtual summit; bats for two-state solution

New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said it was important to ensure that the Israel-Hamas war does not take the shape of a regional conflict and asserted that it is necessary to resolve the Israel-Palestine issue with the two-state solution.

Expressing concern over the prevailing insecurity and instability in West Asia, Modi said he believes after hearing the views of G20 leaders at their virtual summit that there is zero tolerance for terrorism and the loss of innocent lives, especially children and women, is unacceptable and condemnable.

The prime minister also welcomed news of the announcement of the release of hostages and expressed the hope that they will be set free soon. Humanitarian aid should be delivered effectively and safely as soon as possible, he said.

'It is necessary to ensure timely and continuous delivery of humanitarian aid. It is also necessary to ensure that the war between Israel and Hamas does not escalate into a regional conflict,' Modi said in his opening remarks.

Later, in his concluding remarks, he batted for a two-state solution to end the festering Israel-Palestine dispute and said it is necessary to restore regional peace and stability.

After hearing the views of all G20 leaders, Modi said there is an agreement among them on a host of issues in relation to the serious situation in West Asia and listed the points of consensus.

Diplomacy and dialogue are the only means to defuse territorial-political tensions, he said, referring to one of the seven points of agreement among the leaders.

The G20 is ready to offer all possible assistance on these issues, he said, noting that the world leaders shared views on the socio-economic impact of the global situation besides its development agenda.

The virtual summit of Leaders of G20 countries was attended by Brazilian President Luiz In cio Lula da Silva, UAE President Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, among others.

'Our coming together shows that we are sensitive to all issues and standing together for their solution. We believe that terrorism is unacceptable to us... There is zero tolerance to terrorism. Death of civilians, wherever it may be, is condemnable.

'We welcome the news of the release of hostages. We hope all hostages will be released soon,' Modi said.

The prime minister also spoke about the 'negative effects' of artificial intelligence and made a strong pitch for global regulation of the emerging technology.

'There are growing concerns across the world on the negative use of AI. India's thinking is clear, we have to work together on global regulation of AI. We must understand the dangers posed by deepfakes to society and individuals and move forward,' Modi said.

Addressing the G20 leaders, he said, 'When on November 16 last year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo handed the ceremonial gavel to me, I had said we will make G20 inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive. In one year, we have together achieved this.' All of us together have taken G20 to newer heights, he said.

'In this world full of mistrust and challenges, it is this trust that binds us together. In the last one year, we have expressed confidence in 'One Earth, One Family and One Future'. Moving away from controversies, we have worked with unity and cooperation,' Modi said.

'I can never forget that moment when in Delhi all of us welcomed the African Union into the G20. This message of inclusivity given by the G20 to the world is unprecedented.

'It is a matter of pride for India that under its presidency, Africa was given a voice. In the last one year in the G20, Global South's voice has also been heard,' Modi said.

The prime minister asserted that the G20 has increased the confidence in multilateralism and global governance reforms have been given a direction.

The prime minister also invited leaders of G20 nations and that of the Global South to study the Aspirational Districts Programme of India, which aims at implementing sustainable development goals at the local level in the country.

'This single initiative has changed the lives of 25 crore people in the country,' Modi said.

With Brazil set to take over the elite global body's presidency next month, he conveyed his best wishes to Lula and expressed confidence that it will work unitedly with the spirit of 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam' for global peace, stability and prosperity.

'It will continue to work to meet the expectations of the Global South,' he said, expressing hope that it will move forward on the issue of reforming multi-lateral development banks and global governance.

Transparent steps will be taken for debt restructuring, he said in reference to its likely agenda under Brazil's presidency.

Expressing confidence that food and health security besides sustainable development will be given priority, he called for ensuring just, easy and affordable climate finance along with climate action.

He also stressed on women-led development, pathways for 'skilled migration'and the development of medium and small-scale industries. PTI ASK/SKU/KR RT

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