Standing with Israel? Modi skips Brics meeting as members call for immediate ceasefire


The chair's summary of the Meeting stated that all the member countries raised concerns at the latest escalation of violence since the October 7, 2023, attack (ANI)

India was represented by foreign minister S Jaishankar who raised the issue of terrorism being a common threat to all countries

Our Bureau
New Delhi

In a huge development, the BRICS group of nations on Tuesday called for an “immediate” and “sustained” humanitarian truce in Gaza while expressing their deep concern at the dire humanitarian situation. The Extraordinary Joint Meeting of BRICS Leaders and Leaders of the Invited BRICS Members was held virtually on Tuesday, focusing on the ongoing situation of the West Asia conflict. “We called for an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities,” the statement read.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi skipped the meeting. India was represented by foreign minister S Jaishankar who raised the issue of terrorism being a common threat to all countries. Among the BRICS members, both old and new, India and Ethiopia were the only two to abstain in the voting for the UN General Assembly Resolution that called for humanitarian pause to allow for supply of food, fuel and water to the Gaza Strip. All the other members had voted in favour.

The chair’s summary of the Extraordinary Joint Meeting of BRICS stated that all the member countries raised concerns at the latest escalation of violence since the October 7, 2023, attack and the grave deterioration of the situation in the region, “in particular the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in Israel.”

All the nations further condemned the acts of violence aimed at Palestinian and Israeli civilians, including war crimes, indiscriminate attacks and targeting of civilian infrastructure, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement, and destruction.

“We emphasised that civilians must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” it stressed.

The chair’s summary added, “We stressed the need to pursue accountability. We must ensure that independent and transparent investigations are conducted in accordance with international standards.”

They further reiterated the need for full respect for international humanitarian law and the need for full, immediate, safe, unhindered, and sustained humanitarian access and the provision of aid in accordance with the basic principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence established in the UNGA resolution.

According to the statement, the leaders also restated their commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes “through dialogue and inclusive consultations in a coordinated and cooperative manner and support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises.”

At the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called on the international community to join forces to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian State media reported. “Russia’s position is consistent and does not change with the situation. We urge the international community to join forces in order to ease tensions, ensure a ceasefire and find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” TASS quoted Putin as saying.

“BRICS nations and the countries of the region could play a key role in this work,” Putin said, adding, “This is why the participation of our colleagues from the Middle East in today’s meeting, who were invited to join BRICS as full members earlier in the year, is particularly important.”

The leaders of the BRICS countries joined the meeting along with their counterparts from newly added member states.

Addressing the special meeting on the Israel-Hamas war, Iran President Ebrahim Raisi slammed Israel, calling the Zionist regime “criminal,” and said that what is happening these days is a clear sign of an “unjust international system of the West.”

In his speech at the virtual extraordinary meeting of leaders of BRICS countries on the West Asia situation, Raisi said that the issue of Gaza is the issue of humanity and justice.

And Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday urged all nations to cease weapon exports to Israel, according to Al Arabiya Post.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Price made this request during an extraordinary BRICS Joint Meeting, which was being held virtually to address the Israel-Hamas conflict.

South Africa is hosting the BRICS groups of nations to convene the virtual BRICS Extraordinary Joint Meeting.

Saudi Arabia further demanded the start of a serious and comprehensive peace process to establish a Palestinian state along the borders of 1967, reported Al Arabiya Post.

“The Kingdom’s position is constant and firm; there is no way to achieve security and stability in Palestine except through the implementation of international decisions related to the two-state solution,” he stressed.

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