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Updated January 24th, 2024 at 16:39 IST

Middle East Conflict Impacts Maritime Commercial Security in Indian Ocean: India Tells UNSC

India told the UNSC that the ongoing conflict in the region is impacting the safety of maritime commercial traffic in the Indian Ocean.

A Coast Guard ship and helicopter was mobilised to find the missing mariner off the coast of Mumbai. Image for representative purposes.
India presses on security risk in Indian ocean | Image:PTI / Representative
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Geneva – Amid the raging tensions in the Middle East, India told the United Nations Security Council that the ongoing conflict in the region is impacting the safety of maritime commercial traffic in the Indian Ocean. While giving India's stance on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and the tensions between the West and Iran-backed militias, the Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations insisted that the ongoing conflict poses a major security risk in the Indian Ocean. Maritime security has become a matter of concern for India after an Israel-affiliated merchant vessel was struck by an unmanned aerial vessel in the Arabian Sea off India's west coast. The attack caused a fire on the Liberian-flagged chemical products tanker which was extinguished without crew casualties in the incident.

“The ongoing conflict is also impacting the safety of maritime commercial traffic in the Indian Ocean, including some attacks in the vicinity of India,” R Ravindra, the Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations said in his remarks at the UNSC Open Debate on the Middle East. “This is a matter of great concern to the international community and has a direct bearing on India’s own energy and economic interests. This fraught situation is not to the benefit of any party, and this must be clearly recognised,” he furthered. 

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India calls for prevention of ‘escalation'

While giving India's take on the matter, Ravindra noted that India has conveyed since the start of this conflict that it is important to prevent escalation of conflict in the region and ensure proper delivery of humanitarian aid. While elaborating on the matter, Ravindra mentioned that India has delivered shipments of relief material to the Palestinian people in Gaza. “We have also provided USD 5 million, including the USD 2.5 million we provided at the end of December, to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which will go to support the Agency’s core programmes and services, including education, healthcare, relief and social services provided to Palestinian refugees,” he said. The top Indian diplomat reiterated the country's long-standing support for a two-state solution where the Palestinian people will be able to live in a freely independent country within secure borders. 

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Published January 24th, 2024 at 16:39 IST

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