‘Be it Ukraine or West Asia, now is not time for war’: PM

Vienna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he held a “fruitful discussion” with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer during which they discussed in detail the ongoing disputes in the world, including the Ukraine conflict and situation in West Asia, reaffirming that “this is not the time for war”.

Modi, who arrived here from Moscow after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday night on a two-day visit – the first by an Indian prime minister in over 40 years, also said India and Austria identified new possibilities to further strengthen mutual cooperation and prepared a blueprint for cooperation for the coming decade.

“Today, Chancellor Nehammer and I had a very fruitful discussion. We have identified new possibilities to further strengthen our mutual cooperation. We have decided to give a strategic direction to our relationship. A blueprint for cooperation has been prepared for the coming decade,” Modi said in a joint media appearance with Chancellor Nehammer after their talks.

“Chancellor Nehammer and I have spoken at length about ongoing conflicts around the world, be it the conflict in Ukraine or the situation in West Asia. I have said before that this is not the time for war,” the prime minister said.

Asserting that solutions to problems can’t be found on the battlefield, Modi said India and Austria emphasise dialogue and diplomacy, and for that, they are ready to give any support required.

Modi said both India and Austria strongly condemn terrorism and agree that it is not acceptable in any form.

“This cannot be justified in any way,” he said.

Modi said he was happy that he got the opportunity to visit Austria at the very beginning of his third term.

“This visit of mine is both historic and special; after 41 years, no Indian PM has visited Austria.”

He said shared belief in values such as democracy and the rule of law is the strong foundation of India-Austria relations.

“Mutual trust and shared interests strengthen our relations,” he added.

“We agree to reform the United Nations and other international institutions to make them contemporary and effective,” Modi added.