India ready to play a role for Mideast peace



United Nations: Stressing dialogue and negotiations rather than resorting to arms to address people's grievances, India has said it stands ready to play its role to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

"Clearly, the issue of Palestine has taken a decisive turn in the history of the Middle East conflict" after President Mahmoud Abbas filed an application for Palestine's full UN membership, Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, said Monday during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East.

"While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most serious one in the region, we need to be mindful that resolution of this conflict by itself may not result in achievement of a comprehensive and durable peace in the region," he said.

Other issues relating to Arab lands that remain under occupation are equally important, Ahmed said. "Progress in the Lebanese and Syrian tracks of the Middle East Peace Process is, therefore, necessary for comprehensive and lasting peace in the region."

Developments in the Middle East since February this year underline the need for reinvigorating the search for this comprehensive peace, while the countries in the region undertake inclusive political processes and implement reforms to meet the legitimate aspirations of their people, he said.

"It is important that the grievances of the people are addressed through dialogue and negotiations rather than resorting to arms," Ahmed said citing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in the General Assembly last month that societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force.

Guided by these principles, "India stands ready to play its role in our collective endeavours to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East," he said.

IANS