India and the US on Friday synced their positions on the ongoing crisis in West Asia, stating that they stand with Israel against terrorism while calling for adherence to international humanitarian law including the protection of civilians.
The joint statement issued after the fifth annual India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue on foreign affairs and defence here clearly demonstrated the similarity in positions. While the joint statement talked of a political solution, there was no specific mention of the two-state solution that both India and the US advocate for durable peace in the Levant.
In fact, foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra iterated India’s commitment to the two-state solution — a viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel — during his briefing on the 2+2 dialogue a couple of hours before the joint statement was released.
“Noting horrific terrorist attacks against Israel, the ministers reiterated that India and the United States stand with Israel against terrorism and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including with regard to the protection of civilians,’’ the joint statement said.
Further, the two countries called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages. “The ministers committed to continue coordinating with partners in the region on humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. They expressed support for humanitarian pauses and committed to continue close diplomatic coordination, including with key partners in the region, to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and durable peace.’’
Apart from support for humanitarian pauses, there was no call for a ceasefire from either side.