Dialogue and diplomacy is the only way forward for a peaceful and enduring solution to the Ukraine conflict, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said at a conference in Jeddah on the crisis, asserting that sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected by all states without "exception".
The two-day meeting hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to find ways to end the war in Ukraine was attended by top security officials of around 40 countries including US NSA Jake Sullivan and China's Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui.
Interestingly Russia was not invited to the deliberations.
In his address on Saturday, Doval said India will remain an active and willing partner to find a lasting and comprehensive solution to the conflict and that nothing will give New Delhi more happiness and satisfaction than such an outcome.
Doval also said that all peace efforts involving all stakeholders must be pursued to find a just and enduring solution and that it is in this spirit that India participated in the meeting in Jeddah, people aware of the deliberations at the conference which concluded on Sunday said.
Referring to the impact of the conflict, he said the whole world, especially the Global South is bearing the brunt of the situation.
India has regularly engaged both Russia and Ukraine at the highest levels since the beginning of the conflict and New Delhi supports a global order based on principles enshrined in UN Charter and international law, he said.
The NSA especially emphasised that sovereignty and territorial integrity must be upheld by all states without exception, the people cited above said.
He said New Delhi's approach has been and always will be to promote dialogue and diplomacy, adding this is the only way forward for peace.
On the meeting confronting a two-fold challenge that is the resolution of the situation and softening its consequences, Doval said efforts must be directed on both fronts simultaneously and much more groundwork is needed to ensure this.
Currently, several peace proposals have been put forward to end the conflict. The NSA said the key question that needs to be addressed is whether a solution that is acceptable to all relevant stakeholders can be found.
The NSA also said that India is providing both humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and economic assistance to its neighbours in Global South.
The conference was organised with a focus on the peace formula proposed by Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put forward the 10-point "peace plan" for ending the conflict that included punishing those responsible for the war crimes, withdrawing all Russian troops from Ukraine and restoring his country's territorial integrity.
Under the plan, he also called for ensuring energy security, food security, and nuclear safety.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday that India's participation in the meeting would be in consonance with its long-standing position that dialogue and diplomacy is the way forward to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
India has been maintaining that the Ukraine crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
At a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 16 last year in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Today's era is not of war" and nudged the Russian leader to end the conflict.
In May, Modi held in-person talks with Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima.
In the talks, the prime minister conveyed to the Ukranian leader that India will do whatever is possible to find a solution to the conflict.
On his part, Zelenskyy briefed the Indian side in detail on his peace formula and urged New Delhi to join in its implementation.
Ahead of the Jeddah conference, the Ukraine President said that it is "very important" that the world sees a fair and honest end to the Russian "aggression".
"I am grateful to Saudi Arabia for this platform for negotiations. Recently, a meeting in the same format was held in Copenhagen. We are moving step by step towards the Global Peace Summit," he said on X.
"Liberating Ukrainian land from the occupiers means restoring full respect for international law and the UN Charter," Zelenskyy said.
"I am grateful to all those who support the peace formula and have already joined the joint efforts for the full implementation of the Formula," he said.