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Govt condemns Israeli action
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 26
Sharing the concern of members in the Lok Sabha, the government today unequivocally condemned the Israeli action in Lebanon and the “disproportionate and excessive use of force against human lives and institutions.

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma also condemned the action of Hezbollah in kidnapping two Israeli soldiers.

India, he said, was for immediate cessation of hostilities as it was an untenable situation and Lebanon had become a “victim by default”.

Detailing efforts taken by India to secure safety of its 12,000 nationals in Lebanon, he said there has been death of one Indian in the attack. Mr Sharma said the Indian embassies in Jordan, Oman and Turkey were involved in the evacuation process apart from those in Lebanon and Syria.

Stating that the evacuation process started within 72 hours after the trouble began he said “there are around 800 Indian soldiers in the UN Peacekeeping Force. We are concerned about them too.”

Responding to Left members’ criticism, he denied that India was silent in the matter and was not pursuing an independent foreign policy.

Raising the issue during zero hour, CPM leader Basudeb Acharia said it was a full-scale Israeli assault on Lebanon in “brazen violation of international law and Geneva Convention”.

Mr Acharia as also his party colleague Rupchand Pal and CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta said the assault has been launched by “Israel plus Bush administration in the name of fighting terror. They wanted India to suspend arms purchases from Israel. M.A.K Swain (BJP) said the situation was caused due to kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.

He said the Hezbollah had even killed a Lebanese Prime Minister. Later talking to newspersons, the CPM leader Sitaram Yechury asked the government to stop the purchase of arms from Israel and categorically condemn its attacks on Lebanon.

CPM leaders, who would be meeting the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on this issue, said India should get together with other non-aligned nations to mount global pressure on Israel, whose attack have killed a large number of people, including two Indians.




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