‘Complex situation with many posibilities’: S Jaishankar on Hamas-Israel conflict

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Saturday referred to the Israel-Hamas conflict as “very complex” while vehemently defending India’s recent vote to abstain from a UN General Assembly resolution urging a humanitarian ceasefire between the two parties. While referring to Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israeli cities as “terrorism,” Jaishankar reaffirmed India’s long-standing support for a two-state solution to the Palestine conflict through negotiation.

“I clearly conclude that it is a very complex situation with a lot of possibilities which are not fully apparent — possibilities not in a good way,” he said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

When asked if the current crisis would have an effect on the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) project and initiatives under the I2U2 grouping, Jaishankar responded that it is too soon to draw any “definitive or even semi-definite conclusions.”

“Certainly unanticipated problems, even of a serious nature can happen and we are seeing one right now. But I do not think because something has happened and that if you have a larger goal and a larger plan that you immediately start rethinking and revising that,” he said.

“I think you keep your master plan going. You do the work. You also side-by-side respond to whatever else has happened out there,” he said.

Also, the minister of external affairs defended New Delhi’s choice to abstain from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution regarding the conflict between Hamas and Israel.