Kashmir an Indo-Pak bilateral matter; it's essentially issue of terrorism: India to Turkey
Turkey on Monday extended "full solidarity" with India in battling terrorism even as New Delhi virtually sidestepped visiting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's suggestion for a multilateral dialogue on resolving the Kashmir issue.
New Delhi: India on Monday asserted that Kashmir was an Indo-Pak bilateral matter, essentially due to cross-border terrorism.
India's reaction came after visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had advocated a multilateral dialogue to resolve Kashmir issue.
Erdogan had made the comments in an exclusive interview with WION ahead of his visit to India.
Erdogan had said, "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."
India maintains that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan and that there is no scope for a third party mediation.
Asked if the Kashmir issue or Erdogan's proposal of multilateral dialogue to resolve it figured during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Turkish President, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said India's position that Kashmir is its integral part is very sharp and publicly known.
"We conveyed our viewpoint clearly on terrorism and Kashmir (to the Turkish side). It was made clear that there cannot be any justification for terrorism whatever is the intent. We clearly conveyed that the issue of Kashmir is essentially an issue of terrorism. "We told them that we have been victims of cross-border terrorism and and state-sponsored terrorism for 40 years. As far as Kashmir issue is concerned, we have always been ready to resolve it with Pakistan. Not only Kashmir but also all other bilateral issues should be resolved in a peaceful manner," Baglay said, as per PTI.
He also said that the government has made many attempts to have bilateral talks with Pakistan to address issues, including Kashmir as per the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.
Asked about the response of the Turkish side, Baglay said they heard it "care and attention".
Meanwhile, after extensive talks with Erdogan, in which the fight against terrorism formed a major part, PM Modi said both the countries have agreed that "no intent or goal, no reason or rationale can validate terrorism".
PM Modi said that he and Erdogan "agreed to work together to strengthen our cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to effectively counter this menace".
There was no mention of Jammu and Kashmir in the brief statements made by the two leaders at a joint address to the media after delegation-level talks and one-on-one talks between the two leaders.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 1, 2017
On his part, Erdogan said that Turkey would always be by the side of India "in full solidarity" in battling terrorism.
"Terrorist organisations want to launch their propaganda over the suffering of people and are willing to a create future for themselves out of victims' pain," he said.
Both the leaders discussed the situation in their respective regions and on terrorism. The double standards in dealing with the problem and the need for early adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN also came up in the talks.
Turkey conveyed its support for India's bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group for which PM Modi expressed his gratitude.
Also, during the talks, which extended by nearly two hours beyond the scheduled 60 minutes, India and Turkey agreed to boost bilateral trade from the current level of just over $6 billion, as per IANS.
Following today's talks, the two sides signed three agreements, including a cultural exchange programme, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Foreign Services Institute of India and the Diplomacy Academy of Turkey, and another MoU on information and communication technologies.
(With Agency inputs)