India, Austria support any collective effort to facilitate 'peaceful resolution' to Ukraine conflict

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Vienna, Jul 10 (PTI) India and Austria on Wednesday supported any collective effort to facilitate a "peaceful resolution" consistent with international law and the UN Charter to the Ukraine conflict and said that achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace in the eastern European country requires bringing together all stakeholders.

A joint statement issued after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer here said the two leaders exchanged in-depth assessments of recent developments in Europe as well as West Asia.

The two leaders underscored the importance of democratic countries such as India and Austria working together to contribute to international and regional peace and prosperity.

Modi arrived in Vienna from Moscow on Tuesday night after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prime Minister Modi and Chancellor Nehammer "exchanged in-depth assessments of recent developments in Europe as well as West Asia/Middle East. They noted the complementarities in the approaches of the two countries, that prioritise efforts towards restoring peace and avoiding armed conflict as well as rigorous adherence to international law and the UN Charter," the joint statement said.

"Concerning the war in Ukraine, both leaders supported any collective effort to facilitate a peaceful resolution consistent with international law and the UN Charter. Both sides believe that achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace in Ukraine requires bringing together all stakeholders and a sincere and earnest engagement between the two parties to the conflict," it added.

Prime Minister Modi has reaffirmed that "this is not the time for war" and India and Austria emphasised dialogue and diplomacy for the earliest possible restoration of peace and stability.

In the joint statement, both leaders said that they "reinforced their commitment to a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific" in accordance with the international law of the sea as reflected in UNCLOS and with "full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom of navigation" to the benefit of maritime security and international peace and stability, in a veiled reference to China which is flexing muscles in the region.

The two leaders reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border and cyber-terrorism and emphasised that no country should provide safe haven to those who finance, plan, support or commit terrorist acts, in an apparent reference to Pakistan and its all-weather ally China which has often put on hold on proposals in the UN to blacklist the Pakistan-based wanted terrorists.

"Both sides also called for concerted action against all terrorists, including through designations or individuals affiliated with groups that are listed by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. Both countries reiterated their commitment to work together in FATF, NMFT and other multilateral platforms," the statement said.

Modi thanked Nehammer for the gracious hospitality extended by the government and people of Austria during the visit.

"Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Chancellor Nehammer to visit India at his convenience, which the Chancellor accepted with pleasure," the statement said.

Modi conveyed India's invitation to Austria for its membership in the International Solar Alliance, which recently achieved an important milestone by welcoming its 100th member.

"The Prime Minister and the Chancellor emphasised that the shared values of democracy, freedom, international peace and security, a rules-based international order with the UN Charter at its core, the shared historical linkages, and the long-standing ties between the two countries are at the centre of the growing enhanced partnership.

"They reiterated their commitment to continue their efforts towards deepening and widening bilateral, regional and international cooperation for a more stable, prosperous and sustainable world," the statement said.

Prime Minister Modi in Vienna describes his visit to Austria as historic and special.

This was the Prime Minister's first visit to Austria and that of an Indian Prime Minister after 41 years. This year also marks the 75th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Chancellor Nehammer and Prime Minister Modi recognised that the two countries have the potential to "significantly upgrade" their bilateral partnership to a higher level. They agreed to adopt a strategic approach to advance this shared objective, it said.

"To this end, in addition to closer political-level dialogue, they emphasised on a future-oriented bilateral sustainable economic and technology partnership, covering a range of new initiatives and joint projects, collaborative technology development, research and innovation and business-to-business engagement inter alia in green and digital technologies, infrastructure, renewable energy, water management, life sciences, smart cities, mobility and transportation," the joint statement said. PTI KND ZH AKJ ZH ZH

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