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India will not accept dialogue while Pakistan supports terrorism, says EAM Jaishankar

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Jaishankar also asserted that India would continue to maintain economic ties with Russia in pursuit of its national interest despite calls for boycott from Western countries amid Russian invasion of Ukraine Image Courtesy ANI

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said India will never agree to dialogue with Pakistan as long as its western neighbor continues to support cross-border terrorism.

Jaishankar made his comments on Pakistan after meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Monday.

“With regard to Pakistan, I spent time with the Minister outlining the nature of our ties and the challenge of cross-border terrorism, but the main challenge today is that we cannot have talks until there is terrorism. There was also an understanding from the German side,” Jaishankar told media after the meeting.

“Today, we spent the morning discussing the major international issues of the day, outside of our bilateral relations. This included the conflict in Ukraine, developments in the strategic situation in the Indo-Pacific regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan to some extent, Iran, Syria and each of us brought to this set of issues our perspectives . I found it very useful and very enriching to listen to your views on many topics,” he added.

Jaishankar also asserted that India would continue to maintain economic ties with Russia in pursuit of its national interest despite boycott calls from Western countries amid Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Calling out the West regarding its hypocrisy on this issue, Jaishankar pointed out that European Union (EU) countries have been importing large amounts of fuel from Russia while lecturing India.

“The European Union (EU) from February to November imported more fossil fuels from Russia than the next 10 countries combined. The import of oil into the European Union is six times that of India,” Jaishankar told media after meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Monday.

“I urge you to look at these numbers. There is a website called Russia Fossil Fuel Tracker which would give you country by country data on who actually imports what and I think that could be very, very useful,” he added.

India drastically increased its purchases of Russian oil after Russia slashed prices after the start of the war in Ukraine. The country is now the biggest buyer of Russian oil after China despite calls from Western nations – and the threat of a US sanction – to steer clear of Russian oil.

“Our trade with Russia is at a very small level – 12-13 billion dollars, compared to European countries. We also offered the Russians a set of products. I don’t think people should read there more than the legitimate expectations of any trading country to increase its trade,” Jaishankar said.

Earlier on Monday, Jaishankar and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock held detailed discussions on deepening bilateral cooperation, including energy, trade and climate change.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in India on Monday for a two-day visit. His visit comes at a time when India assumed the official chairmanship of the G20 group just four days ago.

Baerbock in his statement described India as Germany’s natural partner. She said that India will play a decisive role in shaping the world order in the 21st century, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, and that traveling to India is like traveling to one-sixth of the world.

“The Indian government has not only set an ambitious target for itself in the G20, but it has also set a target for our country. India wants to go further than ever in the energy transition when it comes to expanding renewable energy and Germany supports India in this area,” she said in a statement.

“We are all affected by the impact of the climate crisis, livelihoods have also been damaged in Europe and India, in such a situation, we want to take our cooperation beyond the level of strategic alliance in the sector economic, climate and security policy,” added Baerbock.

“I am delighted that India, during its G20 presidency under the motto ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, is placing particular emphasis on tackling the climate crisis. Underscoring our common responsibility for climate change.”

Congratulating India on assuming the G20 Presidency, Baerbock said, “India’s G20 Presidency and your UNSC Presidency overlap with our G7 Presidency. I would like to thank you for assuming the presidency of the G20. task spl. India assumes its global responsibility at this difficult time.

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