In a veiled attack on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today said the epicentre of terrorism is located close to India.
Speaking at a joint press briefing with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Mr. Jaishankar said he spoke with Austrian pioneers about threats to international peace posed by terrorism.
Mr. Jaishankar said, “We spoke at length on the threats to international peace and security that are posed by terrorism, including its cross-border practices, violent extremism, radicalization, and fundamentalism.”
He added, “Their effects cannot be contained within a region especially so when they are deeply connected to narcotics and illegal weapons trade, and other forms of international crime. Since the epicentre is located so close to India, naturally our experiences and insights are useful to others.”
On the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Mr. Jaishankar said India is “deeply concerned” about the situation in Ukraine.
Echoing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s refrain that today’s era is not of war, the EAM called for resolving the differences on the negotiating table. Mr. Jaishankar said that Prime Minister Modi has remained in contact with leaders of Russia and Ukraine and has been pressing India’s viewpoint.
“With regard to the Ukraine conflict, let me underline that India remains deeply concerned we sincerely believe that this is not the era of war. Differences must be settled on the negotiating table. There must be a return to dialogue and diplomacy. Prolonged conflict will not serve the interests of any party,” he said.
“My Prime Minister has been in contact with the leaders of both nations pressing our point of view in that regard. We are increasingly anxious about knock-on effects of the conflict in terms of accessibility and affordability of fuel, food, and fertilizers this is a growing concern for the global south,” he added.
Mr. Jaishankar embarked on a two-nation visit to Cyprus and Austria on December 29. His ongoing visit to Austria will conclude on January 3.
In the joint press briefing with Schallenberg, Jaishankar further said India considers Austria a serious and consequential partner when it comes to bilateral cooperation.
“We view Austria as a serious and consequential partner when it comes to bilateral cooperation. You have experiences and capabilities that are relevant to India’s modernization and progress. These are guided by government policies but ultimately implemented through business transactions,” he said.
“Our commitment today is to take both aspects forward in tandem and I look forward to concrete initiatives in that regard,” the EAM added.
On the agreements between India and Austria, Mr. Jaishankar said, “We have concluded several agreements. I think a particularly noteworthy one is the initializing of the Comprehensive Migration & Mobility Partnership Agreement because it will enable demands for skills and talents to be synchronized with their availability.”