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BRICS Decries Gaza Violence

The ministers also called for the effective implementation of the UNSC resolution for an “immediate, durable, and sustained ceasefire…reports Asian Lite News

The BRICS Foreign Ministers expressed “grave concern” regarding the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip that has led to mass civilian displacement, death and casualties, and destruction of civilian infrastructure.

The ministers also called for the effective implementation of the UNSC resolution for an “immediate, durable, and sustained ceasefire” and the relevant UNGA resolutions and UNSC resolution for immediate safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

The conflict escalated on October 7 after Hamas launched a massive terror attack on Israel killing over 1200 people and holding around 250 as hostages.

Following this, Israel launched a strong counteroffensive, carrying out military operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip with the aim of “completely eliminating” Hamas. However, the operations have led to massive civilian casualties with over 37,000 Palestinians have been killed.

“The Ministers expressed grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular the unprecedented escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli military operation that led to mass civilian displacement, death and casualties, and destruction of civilian infrastructure,” the joint statement of BRICS foreign ministers meeting read.

“In this regard, they called for the effective implementation of the relevant UNGA resolutions and UNSC resolution 2720 and for immediate safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip. They also called for the effective implementation of the UNSC resolution 2728 for an immediate, durable, and sustained ceasefire,” it added.

The Foreign Ministers met at the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod on Monday.

Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), led the Indian side at the meeting, in what was the first foreign assignment for India’s foreign policy under the historic third consecutive term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The ministers also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and civilians who are being illegally held captive, the joint statement read.

They further expressed grave concern by the increasing attacks by Israel on Rafah, which would compound the dire humanitarian situation. The ministers condemned the Israeli military operation in Rafah and its ramifications that directly impact civilian lives, especially in view of the “high density of Palestinian civilians in this location”, and the “humanitarian catastrophic” results due to the suspension of the Rafah crossing from the Palestinian side.

The ministers also reaffirmed their rejection of any attempt aiming at forcefully displacing, expelling, or transferring the Palestinian people from their land. Furthermore, they cautioned against the spillover effects of the escalation of tensions to the rest of the Middle East region.

They acknowledged the provisional measures of the International Court of Justice in the legal proceedings instituted by South Africa against Israel. The Ministers expressed serious concern at “Israel’s continued blatant disregard” of international law, the UN Charter, UN resolutions and Court orders.

“The Ministers reaffirmed their support for Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations and reiterated their unwavering commitment to the vision of the two-state solution based on international law including relevant UNSC and UNGA resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative that includes the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine in line with internationally recognized borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side in peace and security with Israel,” the statement read.

The ministers expressed serious concern over the prevailing conflicts and the continuing threats posed by terrorist organizations in various sub-regions of Africa and over remaining conflict potential in the Sahel region, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Great Lakes Region, and in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Sudan as well as growing activity of numerous terrorist groups and insurgents.

The Ministers reiterated their call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and peaceful resolution of the conflict in Sudan and unimpeded access of the Sudanese population to humanitarian assistance, and the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to Sudan and neighboring states.

The Foreign Ministers expressed serious concern with the ongoing deterioration of the security, humanitarian, political and economic situation in Haiti.

“They stressed that the current crisis requires a Haitian-led solution that encompasses national dialogue and consensus building among local political forces, institutions and the society and called on the international community to support the Haitian endeavours to dismantle the gangs, enhance the security situation and put in place the foundations for long-lasting social and economic development in the country,” the statement read.

The Ministers also emphasized the need for an urgent peaceful settlement in Afghanistan in order to strengthen regional security and stability.

They advocated for Afghanistan as an independent, united and peaceful state free from terrorism, war and drugs. They urged for more visible and verifiable measures in Afghanistan to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan is not used by terrorists.

“They further stressed the need to provide urgent and uninterrupted humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people and to safeguard the fundamental rights of all Afghans including women, girls, and different ethnic groups. They emphasized the primary and effective role of regional platforms and neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and welcomed the efforts of such regional platforms and initiatives to facilitate the Afghan settlement,” the statement added.

This is the first meeting of foreign ministers since the expansion of BRICS in 2023. The 10 full members of the association include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa with new members Egypt, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia joining the grouping in 2023.

Russia took over the chairmanship of BRICS on January 1, 2024. (ANI)

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