New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “grave concerns” at the possibility of further expansion of the conflict in the Middle-East, including in the Red Sea.
A joint statement issued late on Friday night said the two leaders called for upholding the freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and underlined the need for respecting the international law of the sea.
Modi and Macron held wide-ranging talks at a luxury palace on Thursday. The French President was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi.
The two leaders expressed “grave concern at the possibility of further expansion of the conflict in the region, including in the Red Sea”, which already resulted a significant economic impact, the statement said.
The Houthi militants have been attacking merchant vessels in the Red Sea since November, apparently in response to Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
“They (Modi and Macron) recalled the utmost importance of upholding freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and of respecting the international law of the sea,” the statement said.
“They had detailed conversation aimed at coordinating their efforts in that region in this regard,” it added.
Modi and Macron also “strongly condemned” the terrorist attack on Israel on October 7 and expressed solidarity with the people of Israel, it said.
“Condemning the huge loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict, they emphasised the need to respect international humanitarian law and to create conditions, including through a humanitarian ceasefire, for aid to flow to the affected population in the Gaza region,” it said.
“Both leaders also called for an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. The two leaders reaffirmed that a political process leading to a two-state solution for the Israeli and Palestinian people is required for lasting peace and stability in the region.”
Modi and Macron also expressed deep concern over the war in Ukraine and its tragic humanitarian consequences.
“They underscored the need for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, and consistent with the principles of the UN Charter,” the statement said.
“They underscored the growing impact of this war on the global economic system and food security, with consequences predominantly affecting developing and least developed countries,” it said.
The two leaders also reaffirmed their unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism, and shared their resolve to stand together in the common fight against the global menace.
Modi and Macron further agreed that no country should provide safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts.
“The leaders also called for concerted action against all terrorists, including through designations or individuals affiliated with groups that are listed by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee,” the statement said.
“The two sides emphasised the importance of upholding international standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, consistent with Financial Action Task Force recommendations,” it added.