At UN, India urges nations to recognise 'Hinduphobia'; calls drone attack in UAE 'blatant violation of international law'

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti said the practice of several UN members labelling terrorism into categories such as racially motivated, violent extremism and right wing extremism, will take the world back to the pre-9/11 era

FP Staff January 20, 2022 16:23:15 IST
At UN, India urges nations to recognise 'Hinduphobia'; calls drone attack in UAE 'blatant violation of international law'

File image of India’s permanent representative to the UN and president of the security council Ambassador TS Tirumurti. News18

Strongly condemning the drone strikes in Abu Dhabi in which two Indians were killed, India has termed the attacks on innocent civilians and infrastructure as a "blatant violation of international law", stressing that the Security Council should stand united in sending a clear signal against such heinous acts of terror.

On Abu Dhabi Oil Tanker Blast

At a Security Council open debate on the Middle East on Wednesday, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti expressed strong condemnation of the recent terror attack in Abu Dhabi, in which three people, including two Indians tragically lost their lives.

"Such an attack on innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure is completely unacceptable. It is a blatant violation of international law. It is also against all civilised norms", he said.

Emphasising that India stands in solidarity with the UAE, Tirumurti said New Delhi extends its full support for an unequivocal condemnation by the Council of this terrorist attack.

It is important that the Council stands united in sending a clear signal against such heinous acts of terror, he said.

On the morning of 17 January, the Houthis targeted the Musaffah ICAD 3 area and the new construction area at Abu Dhabi International Airport, both of which are civilian infrastructure.

The attacks, which led to the explosion of three petroleum tankers, killed two Indian civilians and one Pakistani civilian and injured six other civilians, including two Indians.

The Houthis confirmed responsibility for the attacks, a statement from the UAE mission said.

The United Arab Emirates had requested a meeting of the UN Security Council to address the Houthi terrorist attacks in Abu Dhabi.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Tuesday had a telephonic conversation with the foreign minister of UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan during which the two discussed the terror attack.

Jaishankar condemned the terror attack in the strongest terms and emphasised that in this day and age, such an attack on innocent civilians was completely unacceptable and against all civilised norms.

On Israel-Palestine relationship

Tirumurti also voiced deep concern by recent developments in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.

Violent attacks on civilians have increased in recent weeks. Acts of destruction and provocation are continuing. New settlement units have been announced. We call upon the parties to immediately make concrete efforts to reverse these actions, he said.

India underlined that such unilateral measures unduly alter the status quo on the ground, undercut the viability of the two-state solution and pose serious challenges to the resumption of peace talks. They must be eschewed."

Tirumurti highlighted the urgent necessity for reversing the negative trends on the ground and the need for a roadmap for the resumption of direct political negotiations.

He said the international community must also send a strong signal against any step that will prevent the possibility of durable peace between Israel and Palestine in the near future.

It is extremely important to prevent actions that undermine Confidence Building Measures, the parties must focus on constructive measures. India noted that it is encouraged by direct contacts between the Israeli and Palestinian leadership.

Tirumurti termed as welcome developments the recent meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and the subsequent Israeli announcement to continue the advancement of socio-economic measures along with those determined in the previous meetings, such as the advancing of the transfer of tax payments and status approvals.

Such initiatives which are in the interest of both parties help maintain stability and discourage possible recurrence of terror and violence, he said.

Full and immediate implementation of these measures and continued high-level interactions must be accompanied by a clear roadmap for early resumption of direct negotiations and all final status issues, which we believe is the best path towards achieving the goal of a two-state solution, he said.

Tirumurti reiterated India's firm and unwavering commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Palestinian issue and said New Delhi has supported a negotiated two-state solution leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders side by side at peace with Israel.

He said India has consistently called for direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, based on the internationally agreed framework, taking into account legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood, and Israel's legitimate security concerns.

The absence of these direct talks on key political issues has asymmetrical costs for both Israelis and Palestinians and does not augur well for long term peace in the region, he said.

India called upon the UN and the international community, the Middle East Quartet in particular, to prioritise the revival of these negotiations. As a friend of Israel and Palestine, India will continue to support all efforts towards achieving a comprehensive and lasting two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

On Hinduphobia

Earlier on Tuesday, Tirumurti, while addressing the International Counter Terrorism Conference 2022, organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council India, highlighted that a trend has of late become prominent — highlighting certain religious phobias.

The UN has highlighted some of them over the years, namely, those based on Islamophobia, Christianophobia and anti-semitism — the three Abrahamic religions. These three find mention in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. But new phobias, hatred or bias against other major religions of the world need to also be fully recognised.

“The emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias is a matter of serious concern and needs attention of the UN and all member states to address this threat. It is only then can we bring greater balance into our discussion on such topics”, Tirumurti said.

He said the tendency of several UN members, driven by their political, religious and other motivations, to label terrorism into categories such as racially motivated, violent extremism, and right-wing extremism, will take the world back to the pre-9/11 era of labelling them as ‘your terrorists and my terrorists’.

The central working president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Alok Kumar, has welcomed Tirumurti's statement.

With inputs from PTI

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