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PM Modi speaks to Saudi Crown Prince, expresses concern on terrorism, loss of civilian lives

PM Modi said that he spoke with Mohammed bin Salman on the strategic partnership between India and Saudi Arabia and both leaders agreed to work together for peace, security and stability in the region. The intense military campaign by Israel has killed over 20,600 Palestinians in Gaza.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: December 26, 2023 21:32 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Saudi Crown Prince
Image Source : PTI/AP Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had a "good conversation' with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wherein both leaders exchanged their views on the situation in the Middle East in light of the Israel-Hamas war. The PM expressed his concerns regarding terrorism, violence and loss of civilian lives.

Taking to platform X, PM Modi said that he spoke with Mohammed bin Salman on the strategic partnership between India and Saudi Arabia and both leaders agreed to work together for peace, security and stability in the region. They also discussed the forward-looking bilateral partnership agenda for the future, as per an official release.

The Indian Prime Minister reiterated India’s long-standing and principled position on the Israel-Palestine issue and called for continued humanitarian aid for the affected population, according to an official release. They also emphasised the need for maintaining maritime security and the freedom of navigation.

"Held a good conversation with my Brother HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on the future of Strategic Partnership between India and Saudi Arabia. We exchanged views on the West Asia situation and shared concerns regarding terrorism, violence and the loss of civilian lives. Agreed to work together for peace, security and stability in the region," said PM Modi on X.

PM Modi speaks to Netanyahu

Last week, PM Modi held a "productive exchange of views" with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, including on shared concerns about maritime security. He also highlighted India's consistent stand on early restoration of peace and stability in the region.

"Had a productive exchange of views with PM @netanyahu on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, including shared concerns on the safety of maritime traffic. Highlighted India’s consistent stand in favour of early restoration of peace & stability in the region with continued humanitarian assistance for the affected," said PM Modi on X.

“The two leaders spoke about the importance of safeguarding the free shipping in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that is threatened by the Houthis at the behest of Iran, and the global interest in preventing harm to international trade, including the economies of Israel and India,” The Times of Israel quoted a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

Netanyahu further thanked PM Modi for “India’s support in Israel’s just war to destroy Hamas,” according to the statement. The leaders also discussed bringing Indian workers to Israel.

The Israel-Hamas war

The ongoing war in Gaza has raised international alarm as more than 20,600 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children, have been killed and much of the besieged territory has been devastated, triggering a humanitarian catastrophe. However, Netanyahu on Monday warned that the fight “isn’t close to finished.”

Israeli forces proceeded to bombard Palestinian refugee camps in central Gaza on Tuesday in an apparent preparation to expand their ground offensive into a third section of the strip. The Israeli military announced the deaths of two more soldiers Tuesday, bringing the total killed in the ground offensive to 158. 

Israel has vowed to continue fighting to eliminate Hamas’ military and governing capabilities in Gaza, after the militants carried out their shock attack into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking some 240 hostage.

(with AP inputs)

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