India on Wednesday acknowledged the Gaza conflict poses a geopolitical challenge to the India-Middle East-Europe Connectivity Corridor (IMEC) unveiled in September.
Addressing “Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue” in the capital New Delhi, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “It (corridor) is not without its geopolitical challenges, and the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza is a worrying manifestation of these.”
However, she said the project will create a reliable and cost-effective cross-border transit network to supplement existing maritime and road transport and facilitate trade and connectivity, leading to the economic integration of South Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
The corridor project was unveiled on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in New Delhi in September. It aims to connect India to Europe with a route that runs through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Greece.
While the countries signing the memorandum did not make a binding financial commitment, they agreed to prepare an “action plan” for the creation of the corridor within two months.
As the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip entered its 40th day, at least 11,320 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,800 women and children, and more than 29,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave since last month.
The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is around 1,200, according to official figures.
Source : aa