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PM Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin vow to firm up future initiatives

2024 1largeimg 134848544Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin during which both sides decided to chalk out a roadmap for future initiatives agreed upon during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s five-day visit to Russia last month.

The two leaders also positively assessed the developments in bilateral relations and reviewed progress on a number of issues of bilateral cooperation, including Russia’s presidency of BRICS in 2024. They exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, stated a MEA release. “Had a good conversation with President Putin,” PM Modi posted on X. The two leaders held a telephonic conversation on a day when their Foreign Ministers made contact with their Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahain. Jaishankar had an in-person meeting in Tehran with Amir-Abdollahain, who along with his Defence Minister held a separate telephonic conversation with his Russian counterparts Sergey Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu.

Jaishankar also called on Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and conveyed PM Modi’s greetings to him. He further met recently appointed Iran’s new security chief Ali Akbar Ahmadian, who is expected to visit India in the coming days.

Speaking at a press conference later, Jaishankar indicated New Delhi’s condemnation of Hamas’ attacks remained undiluted but it also backed adequate humanitarian aid for Gaza and a two-state solution on the Palestine issue.

“India has a long-standing and uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. This remains. At the same time, we strongly believe it is imperative to avoid loss of civilian life in any conflict situation. In Gaza, the loss of civilian lives was our primary focus. There is a visible humanitarian crisis that needs to be addressed. Humanitarian corridors are the need of the day,” he observed.

Jaishankar was blunt on the Ansar Allah (Houthis) attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea area. “We have seen some attacks in the vicinity of India. This is of great concern to the international community. It has a direct bearing on India’s energy security. It is not to be the benefit of any party and that should be clearly recognised,” he observed.

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