EAM Jaishankar Conveys Concerns to Tehran Over Red Sea Attacks

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: With the Houthi militants based in Yemen and allegedly backed by Iran carrying out attacks on the commercial vessels sailing through the Red Sea region, New Delhi conveyed its concerns to Tehran, underlining that the “fraught situation” was “not to the benefit of any party”.

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Tehran, however, countered, stating that insecurity in the international waterways was caused by the support extended by the United States to Israel’s continued offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.

“As you are all aware, there have also been recently a perceptible increase in threats to the safety of maritime commercial traffic in this important part of the Indian Ocean,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Tehran.

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He and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were addressing a joint news conference after a meeting.

“We have even seen some attacks in the vicinity of India. This is a matter of great concern to the international community. Obviously, it also has a direct bearing on India’s energy and economic interests. This fraught situation is not to the benefit of any party, and this must be clearly recognised,” Jaishankar said sending out a subtle message to Amir-Abdollahian.

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Amir-Abdollahian said that he had also emphasised the importance of providing security in international waterways near Iran. He, however, stressed that the continued support of the United States to Israel, allowing “war crimes” to be committed in the Gaza Strip was the root cause for insecurity in the entire region.

Jaishankar reiterated India’s long-standing support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, paving the way for the people of Palestine to live freely in an independent country within secure borders at peace with Israel.

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“India has a long-standing and uncompromising position against terrorism in all forms and manifestations. This remains so very much,” the external affairs minister said.

“At the same time,” he added, “we strongly believe that it is imperative to avoid loss of civilian life in any conflict situation.”

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He and Amir-Abdollahian discussed the “deeply concerning situation in Gaza”. “The loss of civilian lives, especially that of women and children was our primary focus. There is a visible humanitarian crisis that needs to be addressed and the creation of sustainable humanitarian corridors is the need of the day,” he said.