India ‘strongly condemns’ civilian casualties in Israel-Hamas conflict: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the inaugural session of the Voice of Global South Summit via a video conference on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday “strongly condemned” the civilian casualties in the ongoing violence in Gaza Strip. Delivering the inaugural speech at the virtual Voice of Global South Summit, he reiterated his condemnation of the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas and said the Global South should speak in one voice on critical matters. Mr. Modi further announced that India was set to host a global partnership summit on Artificial Intelligence next month which would promote responsible use of technology and reduce the gap between the developed and developing economies. 

“We are all seeing that developments in West Asia are giving birth to new challenges. India has condemned the dastardly terror attack on Israel on October 7. We urged for restrained response along with dialogue and diplomacy. We strongly condemn the death of civilians in Israel-Hamas conflict,” Mr. Modi said.

His remarks indicated that other leaders in the virtual Voice of Global South Summit are also likely to take up the violence in Gaza at the daylong event during which Heads of Government, Foreign Ministers and other representatives are expected to place their thoughts on various matters of global importance. Mr. Modi mentioned India’s humanitarian approach to the crisis and said, “After speaking to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, India sent relief material to the Palestinians,” he said. 

The Prime Minister also announced that DAKSHIN — Development and Knowledge Sharing Initiative — Global South Centre for Excellence will be inaugurated on Friday. He revisited the diplomatic outreach by India to the Global South that was witnessed during the G20 summit of last September. He specifically highlighted the inclusion of the African Union as a new member in the G20 grouping. 

He further urged that the gaps between the North and the South should be minimised to ensure access to new technology and initiatives. “New technology should not become a source of creating distance between the North and the South. In this age of AI, it is necessary to ensure responsible use of technology. To ensure that, next month India will host AI technology summit,” Mr. Modi announced. 

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