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France calls India, Pakistan to find a political solution to Kashmir dispute

New Delhi, Aug 21: France has called both India and Pakistan to exercise “restraint” and de-escalate the situation and said that bilateral political dialogue is imperative to resolve Kashmir dispute so as to establish lasting peace.

In a phone-call with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, asserting that it is “essential to abstain from any measure likely to aggravate tension”.French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Jean-Yves Le Drian said, “France makes a call to the parties for restraint, de-escalation, and easing the situation. It is essential to abstain from any measure likely to aggravate tensions. “

France’s statement came hours after US President Donald Trump, once again, offered to mediate on Kashmir, saying: “Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have Hindus and you have the Muslims and I wouldn’t say they get along so great…I will do the best I can to mediate….you have two counties that haven’t gotten along well for a long time and frankly, it’s a very explosive situation.”

The statement assumes much significance as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  will be in France on Thursday for a state visit where he will meet French President Emmanuel Macron and later participate in at the 45th G7 summit where he is expected to meet his British PM Johnson and US President Donald Trump.

A French spokesperson put out a statement after the country’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, spoke to his Pakistani counterpart on Tuesday.

Le Drian said that France as a UN Security Council permanent member, was extremely concerned at the situation and urged both sides to engage in a bilateral dialogue.

Le Drian emphasised the need to ensure that there was no further escalation and underscored that they would have the same message for India, a Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.

Earlier, Qureshi briefed his French counterpart about the “illegal and unilateral” actions of India to alter the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir “in contravention of the international law and UNSC resolutions”.

He underlined that the steps taken by India in Kashmir “entailed a grave risk for peace and security in the region.

Qureshi expressed the hope that France, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, would play its due role to ensure peace and stability in the region and urged France to impress upon India to lift the curfew and ameliorate the hardships and sufferings of the people in IoK, the statement said.

Jean-Yves Le Drian recalled France’s constant position on Kashmir , “it is upto the two countries, under the framework of their bilateral political dialogue, to resolve this dispute so as to establish lasting peace.”

 

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