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Modi was right, this is not time for war: French Prez at UN

By Yoshita Singh
September 21, 2022 09:34 IST
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French President Emmanuel Macron told world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly session that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right when he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that this is not the time for war.

IMAGE: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Photograph: Kind courtesy @EmmanuelMacron/Twitter

Modi, who met Putin last week on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan's Samarkand, had told the Russian leader that "today's era is not of war".

He has spoken to Putin several times over the phone regarding this issue and underlined the importance of democracy, diplomacy and dialogue.

"Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India was right when he said the time is not for war. It is not for revenge against the West or for opposing the West against the East. It is the collective time for our sovereign equal states to cope together with challenges we face," Macron said during his address at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

"This is why there's an urgent need to develop a new contract between the north and the south – an effective contract which is respectful for food, for biodiversity, for education. It's no longer time for block thinking but to build a coalition of specific action to reconcile legitimate interests and common goods," he said.

 

In Samarkand, Putin had told Modi that he knows his "position on the conflict in Ukraine and the concerns that you constantly express".

"We will do our best to make it stop as soon as possible. However, unfortunately, the opposing side, the leadership of Ukraine, announced that it was abandoning the negotiation process and declared that it wants to achieve its goals by military means, 'on the battlefield', as they say. Nevertheless, we will always keep you informed of what is happening there," Putin had said.

At the UNGA session on Tuesday, Macron expressed hope the international community can commit to the reform of the UN Security Council "so that it is more representative, welcome new permanent members and remain able to play its full role by restricting the use of veto in cases of mass crimes".

In his address on the opening day of the General Debate, the French president said "there are countries that have chosen a form of neutrality vis-à-vis this war. Those who are saying that they're non-aligned are wrong. They are making a historic error".

"The combat of the non-aligned movement is a fight for peace. They fought for peace, the sovereignty of states and territorial integrity. Those who are keeping silent today are in a way complicit with a cause of new imperialism, a new order that is trampling over the current order, and there's no peace possible here."

"Russia is today seeking to uphold a double standard but the war in Ukraine must not be a conflict that leaves anyone indifferent," Macron said. PTI YAS

The United States too welcomed Modi for his message to Putin.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan "is a statement of principle" of what he believes is “right and just” and it “was very much welcomed" by the US, the White House said.

Responding to a question on Modi remarks, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters at a White House news conference that what the prime minister said was "a statement of principle on behalf of what he believes is right and just (and) it was very much welcomed by the US."

The remark of the Indian leadership, which has longstanding relationships with Moscow, telling Russia that now is the time for war to end is commendable, he said.

And the way this war should end is for Russia to abide by the basic terms of the UN charter and to return the territories that it has seized by force. This is a message that every country -- in spite of how they feel about Russia, Ukraine and the US -- "should be able to centre around this basic proposition", Sullivan said.

"You cannot conquer your neighbour's territory by force. Peace will come fast and most decisively to Ukraine if Russia abandons that effort. And we would like to see every country in the world making that case. They can do it publicly if they like. They can do it privately if they like. But sending that clear and unmistakable message to Moscow at this time is the most vital thing. I think we can collectively do to produce peace in that region," he added.

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Yoshita Singh
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