Erdogan calls for dialogue to end Kashmir dispute

Updated September 24, 2019

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing the global community. — Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing the global community. — Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called for a solution through dialogue for the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India.

In his address at the UN General Assembly session in New York, Erdogan criticised the international community for failing to pay attention to the Kashmir conflict, which, he said, awaits solution for 72 years.

The president said the stability and prosperity of South Asia cannot be separated from the Kashmir issue.

"In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbors, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision," said Erdogan.

"Despite the resolutions adopted, [India-occupied] Kahsmir is still besieged and eight million people are stuck in Kashmir," he said.

"The invasions, conflicts and terrorist activities for almost four decades in Afghanistan have led to instability in the region," he said while talking about the region.

The India-occupied region has been facing a clampdown since August 5, when the Indian government nixed Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which conferred a special status on it.

Hundreds of people, mostly political leaders, have been detained or arrested by authorities since the Indian government made the move.

India and Pakistan hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full.

Following Erdogan's remarks, Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked him for raising the issue of occupied Kashmir at the UNGA and for calling for a solution to the long-standing dispute.

In a subsequent tweet, the premier said: "I appreciate President Erdogan's statement that the stability and prosperity of South Asia cannot be separated from the Kashmir issue."