NEW DELHI: At a time when US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism, potentially hindering the US Department of State's efforts to ease heightening tensions and a blockade of the Gulf nation by Arab states and others, India has asserted that it has "vital stakes" in peace and stability in the Gulf, while asking countries in the region to resolve the Qatar crisis through constructive dialogue and well-established international principles of mutual respect.
Making his official reaction for the first time since the crisis in Gulf began, External affairs ministry here in New Delhi said India is closely following the emerging situation in the region in the wake of the recent decision by Saudi Arabia and some other countries to break diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain had announced that they were cutting diplomatic ties and closing all connectivity links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. The charge has been denied by Doha.
"India has time-tested friendly relations with GCC countries. With over eight million Indian expatriates living and working in these countries, we have vital stakes in the regional peace and stability," according to the statement, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
In this context, the government is closely monitoring the situation and is also in regular contact with the regional countries. Their authorities have assured the government continued support for welfare and well-being of the resident Indian communities, MEA statement further said.
"We are of the view that all parties should resolve their differences through a process of constructive dialogue and peaceful negotiations based on well-established international principles of mutual respect, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries," it said.
India believes that peace and security in the Gulf are of paramount importance for the continued progress and prosperity of the countries in the region.
“International terrorism, violent extremism and religious intolerance pose grave threat not only to regional stability but also to global peace and order and must be confronted by all countries in a coordinated and comprehensive manner,’ MEA statement reads.
MEA has also asked Indian expatriates in the region to contact the Indian Embassy or Consulate concerned should they require assistance or advise consequent to the developing situation.