Erdogan, Modi Agree to Disagree on Kashmir

NEW DELHI: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s suggestion that Kashmir be resolved through multilateral negotiations, was met with a polite rebuff from New Delhi which said the issue facing both Turkey and India was one of terrorism and that it was ready to talk to Pakistan on all bilateral issues, including Kashmir, thus, turning down Turkey’s offer of hosting mulatilateral negotiations.

Turkish President had assured India of his country’s full support in the fight against terrorism as he held “extensive” discussion on this evolving threat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described it as a “shared worry”.

Ahead of his visit to India, Erdogan had pitched for a multilateral dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue to ensure peace in the region.

“We should not allow more casualties to occur (in Kashmir). By having a multilateral dialogue, (in which) we can be involved, we can seek ways to settle the issue once and for all,” he had told a TV channel in an interview.

The remarks are contrary to the position of India, which maintains that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan, and that there is no scope for a third party mediation.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Gopal Baglay, would not be drawn into a discussion on past stances on Kashmir taken by Turkey (like raising the issue of Kashmir on behalf of Pakistan in the Organisation of Islamic Countries) or even statements by President Erdogan who, during a visit to Pakistan in September last year, said that Turkey was fully with Pakistan in “support of the struggle of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Kashmir”.


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