ANI Photo | “All of us follow enormous efforts which Tony is putting in right now”: EAM lauds Blinken’s West Asia tours

Amid multiple conflicts and crises that have taken hold of West Asia, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said all global partners of the US have aligned themselves and made common cause with the efforts at peace and resolution that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been putting in through his visits to the region.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the ongoing Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Jaishankar said there was no justification for the ‘terrorism’ that was unleashed on the kibbutzes of southern Israel on October 7, last year.
“All of us follow enormous efforts which Tony (Antony Blinken) is putting in right now,but look the way we look at it has different dimensions, different elements to this,” Jaishankar said.
“We must be clear that what happened on October 7 was terrorism. No justification, no explanation, it was terrorism,” the EAM added.
The panel discussion, of which Jaishankar, Blinken and Baerbock were a part, was moderated by Roula Khalaf, the editor of the Financial Times, London.
all of us follow enormous efforts which tony is putting in right now eam lauds blinkens west asia tours 1 – The News Mill
As the discussion went on, Jaishankar underscored the urgent need for a sustainable, humanitarian corridor.
“As Israel responds, it is important that Israel… should have been very mindful of civilian casualties, that it has an obligation to observe humanitarian law,” Jaishankar said, adding that “the return of hostages is today imperative,” the EAM said, adding, “There is a need for a humanitarian corridor…a sustainable humanitarian corridor to provide relief.”
Blinken said the US has been committed to Israel’s security from ‘day one’.
“First, we are committed to Israel’s security, that has been clear from day one. And, we understand, and support the proposition that Israel has to find a way to make sure that, what happened on October 7 never happens again,” Blinken said.
“But, we have also said, and not only said, we have acted on the proposition, that the way Israel does that matters profoundly,” he addded.
The State Secretary further highlighted how multiple diplomatic engagements from the US side have resulted in getting a lot of things done, even as the Israel-Hamas war evolved in the last four months.
“…In terms of trying to ensure protection for civilians who are caught in the crossfire of Hamas’ making…that is absolutely essential— making sure that people in need get the assistance that they need, we are working on this every single day,” Blinken said.
“And, as we have seen the war evolve over the last 4 months, things have happened as a result of our engagements, I would say probably would not have happened..almost certainly would not have happened without it, but it is not enough…and that is why we are at it, almost 24 hours a day,” he added.
Baerbock, the German Foreign Minister, too, spoke at length on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, saying discussions and dialogue have been helpful in ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches the war-torn region.
“The good thing is over the last three months, all the discussions were helpful in a way. First, we did not have any humanitarian support, but now we at least have a few trucks…not enough trucks, but also from the other understanding…and this is what I totally agree on…you cannot say we need a ceasefire, and the Israeli govt and IDF has to stop, and then we just wait and see to what happens to regrouping of Hamas. No! We have to give an answer to both the…security concerns,” Baerbock said during the panel discussion in Munich.
On both his current and last trip to the West Asia, Blinken stressed that the Israeli government must make ‘difficult’ decisions and move toward a two-state solution if it wants to achieve normalisation with Saudi Arabia and if it wants the support of its Arab neighbors for security and reconstruction in Gaza.
Blinken visited Israel in February first week this year, after visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar, where the discussions “focused on ensuring … that we can use any pause to continue to build out plans for the day after in Gaza the security, humanitarian, reconstruction, governance.”
Notably, it was Blinken’s fifth visit to West Asia since the October 7 Hamas assault, as a part of his ongoing effort to secure the release of hostages held by the terror group and work toward a humanitarian pause to allow more aid into Gaza.
The 60th Munich Security Conference (MSC) got underway an in-person event from February 16-18, 2024, at its traditional venue, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich.
This year’s conference is being held under the chairmanship of the German Ambassador to the US, Christoph Heusgen.

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