New Delhi urges cooperation and negotiation in ‘troubled world’ – ex-envoy
As the world reels from regional conflicts and tensions between major powers, New Delhi remains convinced that diplomacy is the only way forward, former Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma has told RT.
Speaking on the sidelines of the two-day Primakov Readings International Forum in Moscow, Varma asserted that, in India’s view, “multipolarity should be taken in the spirit of cooperation and negotiation.”
The former diplomat observed that many of the predictions made by the late Evgeny Primakov, the former foreign and prime minister of Russia, are coming true. According to Varma, these include the rise of groups such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the general concept of multipolarity.
“In a troubled world, the conflict between the great powers is very evident. We see that in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the escalation of tensions in the Middle East,” Varma stated. He further suggested that “the troubled world will do very well if we have emphasis on conflict resolution, development, handling new challenges of technology, food crises, and energy crisis.”
India has stressed the importance of diplomacy in regard to both the Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Hamas war. New Delhi abstained from successive votes in the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council that condemned Russia over the hostilities in Ukraine. In the ensuing months, trade between New Delhi and Moscow has soared.
In October, India abstained from a UN General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict. New Delhi later explained that the decision was consistent with its stand on terrorism, and subsequently voted in favor of a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Palestine.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first world leaders to condemn the Hamas attack on Israel in October as an act of “terrorism.” He highlighted the civilian casualties and underscored the need for dialogue and discussion, while advocating a two-state solution to resolve the decades-old conflict.
The emerging world, and especially countries in the Global South, is increasingly seen as looking towards India as a balanced voice amid ongoing conflicts. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s envoy to India, Saleh Eid H Al-Husseini, stated that the Arab League expects New Delhi to play a “major role” in supporting global peace and stability. Husseini asserted that the Arab-Islamic summit held in Riyadh earlier this month had undertaken to reach out to all major capitals, including New Delhi, to explain the need for peace in Gaza.