In Austria, PM Modi reaffirms that ‘this is not time for war’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he held “fruitful discussions” 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 bilateral cooperation and prepared a blueprint for cooperation for the coming decade.

“Chancellor Nehammer and I have discussed in detail the ongoing conflicts around the world, whether it is the conflict in Ukraine or the situation in West Asia. I have said before that this is not a time for war. Problems cannot be solved on the battlefield. The loss of innocent lives, anywhere, is unacceptable,” Modi said in a joint press statement along with Chancellor Nehammer after their talks.

He said India and Austria emphasise on dialogue and diplomacy for the earliest possible restoration of peace and stability.

“We are both ready to provide every possible cooperation to achieve this,” he said, recalling that the historic Vienna Congress was hosted in the hall where they are standing and that the conference provided direction for peace and stability in Europe.

On his part, Nehammer said India is an influential and credit-worthy country whose role is more than important when it comes to the Russia-Ukraine peace process.

“We had very intensive talks about the Russian aggression against Ukraine. For me as the Federal Chancellor of Austria, it is particularly important to get to know India’s assessment and to understand it and to familiarise India with European concerns and worries,” said Nehammer, whose country is an ally of Ukraine.

“Moreover, the conflict in the Middle East was a major topic,” he added.
During his talks with Putin on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi told him that a solution to the Ukraine conflict is not possible on the battlefield and peace efforts do not succeed amid bombs and bullets.