Gaza violence: India calls for direct talks

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 18, 2012 18:44 hrs

India on Sunday said that it was "deeply concerned" at the steep escalation of violence in Gaza between Israel and Palestine, and appealed to the two sides to engage in direct talks.

"We are deeply concerned at the steep escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, focused around Gaza, that threatens the peace and security of that region," an official spokesperson of India's foreign ministry said on Sunday in response to a question.

"It is, therefore, imperative that the situation be de-escalated urgently as the region is already undergoing turmoil," he added.

"We urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking any action that may further exacerbate the situation," the Ministry of External affairs official said.

"It may be mentioned that an emergency meeting on Palestine was held at the UN Security Council on November 14 under India´s Presidency to send a strong message from the Council to those concerned to de-escalate the situation and to stop the violence immediately," he said.

"It is also necessary that direct talks begin without any further delay between Israel and the Palestinian Authority leading to a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian situation," he added.

The new wave of violence in Gaza and southern Israel - which includes rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza - has resulted in several people being killed or wounded on both sides.

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