India To Continue With League Of Arab States In Combating Terrorism

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that India will continue to partner with the League of Arab States in combating terrorism and promoting plurality.

This statement comes in the backdrop of increasing terrorism in different Gulf countries. Syria is one of the countries where the terrorism incident has increased in the past few years.

Shringla was speaking at the United Nations Security Council meeting on the Cooperation between the UN and regional organisations (League of Arab States) on Wednesday.

While addressing the UNSC meeting, Shringla stated, “For, over millennia, the Arab world has been a cradle of human civilization. Given its strategic location, developments in the Arab world have influenced our shared history and they continue to have a profound impact globally. The challenges confronted by the region today and how we address them will have a critical bearing on international peace and security.”

Shringla stated the historical relation that India and the Arab region share. He said, “Trade between India and Arab region through the Indian Ocean had flourished for several centuries even before the advent of modern commerce. The Indian rupee was legal tender in parts of the Arab world not very long ago.”

“Today, countries from the Arab world are host to more than 9 million Indians and India’s wide-ranging partnership with these countries encompasses every aspect of human endeavour- from agriculture, trade, commerce and education to clean energy, counter-terrorism and new technologies,” he added.

Shringla mentioned the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that India and the League of Arab States signed two decades ago for institutionalizing a regular dialogue process to forge a partnership for the future. He also said that this led to the creation of the India-League of Arab States Forum, during which progressive cooperation in several fields like energy, environmental protection, investment, food security, science and technology and human resource development was agreed upon.

Shringla said that several initiatives were taken to deepen the engagement with the League of Arab States and these initiatives have also been conceptualized including the Energy Symposium, Media Symposium and the first edition of the Arab India Energy Forum which was successfully convened a few months ago.

“The League of Arab States has contributed positively to security and stability in the region. Its Member States are significant troop and police contributors to UN peacekeeping forces. The Arab States are among the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to countries facing armed conflict in the region. The League has played an important role in the areas of mediation, conflict prevention and resolution in the region,” Shringla said.

He further stated, “Today’s meeting provides us with a valuable opportunity to take a closer look at the cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States. We underline that the League of Arab States can further contribute to our joint endeavour for peace, for the sake of the people of the region, in general, and women and minorities, in particular. We take note of the positive trajectory of the cooperation, including through the UN Liaison Office in Cairo and the practice of annual briefings by the Secretary-General to this Council.”

Shringla submitted four suggestions and said, “First, there must be greater policy synergy between the two organizations. Regular and frequent consultations with the League of the Arab States and its members on peace initiatives in the region would contribute towards achieving common solutions and meaningful outcomes. Second, efforts must be made to achieve comprehensive coordination at the field level, especially through regular coordination between UN’s Special Envoys and Special Representatives and the League of Arab States.”

He further added, “Third, engagement with the League and its members in post-conflict peacebuilding through reconstruction and economic development is equally important; and Fourth, ensuring the stability of the countries concerned and the region, and the welfare of the people, especially women and minorities, should be at the forefront of all such efforts.”

Shringla stated that the cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States is of critical importance when it comes to the Middle East peace process. He further stated that both the organisations need to take the concerted effort to support the reactivation of the Middle East peace process in line with the two-State solution, based on the internationally agreed framework and previous agreements between the parties.

Shringla said that India welcomed the agreements for the normalisation of relations between countries in the region, which will contribute to greater peace and stability in the region.

“Let me conclude by expressing India’s steadfast support for a closer, meaningful and sustained cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the benefit of the region. India will continue to partner with the Arab countries in their efforts to achieve regional peace, stability and prosperity and will continue to work with the League of Arab States in combating terrorism and in promoting tolerance and pluralism,” Shringla said. (ANI)

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