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India opposes military action against Syria
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, September 3
India has firmly opposed any military action against Syria while emphasising that it would wait for the outcome of the UN inspection about the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Arab nation.

“There can be no military solution to this conflict. We continue to support the proposed ‘International Conference on Syria (Geneva II), being the best prospect for a political solution, for bringing the Syrian Government and the Opposition to the negotiating table,’’ MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said on Tuesday in response to a query.

The statement came on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to St Petersburg for the G-20 Summit of top industrial nations and emerging economies. The Syrian crisis is likely to be one of the main items on the agenda of G-20 leaders even as they chalk out a strategy to grapple with the global economic situation.

The PM has already indicated that global factors such as tensions over Syria had caused general weaknesses in emerging market currencies like the rupee. The MEA spokesman pointed out that India has consistently called upon all sides to abjure violence so that conditions could be created for an inclusive political dialogue leading to a comprehensive political solution, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. About the allegation of use of chemical weapons in Syria, the spokesman said India has supported the complete destruction and elimination of chemical weapons worldwide. The international legal norm against the use of chemical weapons anywhere and by anyone should not be breached. “However, we will prefer to await the full results of the UN inspection,” said the spokesman. Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said New Delhi was keeping a close watch on the situation in Syria.

Delhi’s worry

  • India's uncertain economic situation makes it more vulnerable to external shocks
  • US-led strikes against Syria would inevitably lead to an increase in oil prices and put severe burden on the country’s economy
  • Any escalation of the situation in Syria would also have a spillover effect on millions of Indians working in the Gulf and sending precious foreign exchange to the country. West Asia is home to six million expat Indians





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