India concerned over downtrend in Middle East peace process

India has expressed concern over the downward trend in the Middle east peace process including Yemen, Syria and has called for a resumption of a comprehensive peace process that brings a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue.

"We are concerned that since last attempts for serious direct talks broke in April 2014, there has been a downward trend in the peace process despite efforts for serious negotiations between the parties which remained inconclusive," India's new permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin told the Security Council yesterday.

Instead there has been an unfortunate escalation in Gaza, Akbaruddin said while participating in an open debate on the situation in the Middle East.

Unilateral actions by the parties unfortunately are moving them further apart, he said adding that India remains firmly convinced that dialogue remains the only viable option that can effectively address the issue.

"The imperative need is for restraint, to avoid provocation and unilateral actions and to return to the peace process. We remain hopeful and urge both sides to resume the peace process soon, for a comprehensive, just and lasting resolution of the Palestinian issue," Akbaruddin said.

Voicing concern over the political and security situation in Yemen, he asked all concerned parties there to amicably resolve their differences.

"We hope that the UN-mediation efforts would assist the people of Yemen in finding a consensus-based solution," he said.

Akbaruddin also expressed concern with the activities of proscribed outfits, radicalised and extremist groups in the West Asia and Gulf region especially in northern parts of Iraq and Syria which are critically impacting on peace and stability in the region.

"Efforts must be taken by all parties and stakeholders in the region to curb these dangerous trends. We believe the consolidation of political processes and solutions while building durable state institutions will be the effective way of addressing such extremism and radicalism in the region," he said.

He said New Delhi's position on the Middle East Peace Process has been consistent and clear.

"India supports a negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel as endorsed in the Quartet Roadmap and relevant UNSC Resolutions," he said.

"India has always played a proactive role in garnering support for the Palestinian cause in multilateral fora. We supported the recent vote in the General Assembly on raising the flags of non-member observer states," Akbaruddin said.

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