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G20 Virtual Summit: Important To Ensure Israel-Hamas War Does Not Take Shape Of Regional Conflict: PM Modi 

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NEW DELHI, Nov 22: Expressing concern over the prevailing insecurity and instability in West Asia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told G20 leaders that it is important to ensure that the Israel-Hamas war does not take the shape of a regional conflict and welcomed the announcement of the release of hostages.

In his opening remarks at the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit, Modi said terrorism is “unacceptable” to everyone and asserted that the death of civilians wherever it may be is condemnable.

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In the last few months, new challenges have emerged and the situation of insecurity and instability in West Asia is a matter of concern, he said at the virtual meeting attended by leaders like European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, among others.

“Our coming together shows that we are sensitive to all issues and standing together for their solution. We believe that terrorism is unacceptable to us. Death of civilians, wherever it may be, is condemnable. We welcome the news of the release of hostages. We hope all hostages will be released soon,” Modi said.

He asserted that it is imperative that humanitarian assistance reaches on time and in a continuous manner.

It is important to ensure that Israel-Hamas war does not take the shape of a regional conflict, Modi said.

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Addressing the G20 leaders, he said, “When on November 16 last year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo handed the ceremonial gavel to me, I had said we will make G20 inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive. In one year, we have together achieved this.”

All of us together have taken G20 to newer heights, he said.

“In this world full of mistrust and challenges, it is this trust that binds us together. In the last one year, we have expressed confidence in ‘One Earth, One Family and One Future’. Moving away from controversies, we have worked with unity and cooperation,” Modi said.

“I can never forget that moment when in Delhi all of us welcomed the African Union into the G20. This message of inclusivity given by the G20 to the world is unprecedented.

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“It is a matter of pride for India that under its presidency, Africa was given a voice. In the last one year in the G20, Global South’s voice has also been heard,” Modi said.

The prime minister asserted that the G20 has increased the confidence in multilateralism and global governance reforms have been given a direction.

The meeting is set to deliberate on a host of issues but all eyes are on the discussion related to the Gaza situation. Significantly, the meeting comes on a day Israel’s Cabinet approved a temporary ceasefire with the Hamas group that is expected to bring the first halt in fighting in the six-week war.

The ceasefire will facilitate the release of dozens of hostages captured by Hamas during its October 7 attack into southern Israel. The deal will also see the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and the entry of more humanitarian aid into Gaza, according to media reports.

Israel has been carrying out a massive military operation in Gaza following the unprecedented multi-pronged attacks on Israeli cities by Hamas militants on October 7.

Hamas killed around 1,400 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 220 others. Around 11,500 people have been killed in Gaza in the Israeli offensive, according to the Hamas-run authorities in Gaza.

There has been mounting criticism of Israel for the death of a large number of civilians, including women and children, in Gaza in its military operations. (PTI)

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