India slams Turkish President Erdogan’s Kashmir remarks at UNGA

Updated on Sep 23, 2020 11:15 AM IST

T S Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, told Turkey to “learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the Kashmir issue in his address at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday

In this image made from UNTV video, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, speaks in a pre-recorded message that was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 22 at the UN headquarters in New York.(AP)
In this image made from UNTV video, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, speaks in a pre-recorded message that was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 22 at the UN headquarters in New York.(AP)
Hindustan Times, Washington, DC | ByYashwant Raj

India on Tuesday categorically told Turkey to “learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the Kashmir issue in his address at the UN General Assembly earlier in the day.

“We have seen remarks by the President of Turkey on Indian UT of Jammu & Kashmir,” T S Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, said in a tweet. “They constitute gross interference in India’s internal affairs and are completely unacceptable. Turkey should learn to respect sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply.”

Erdogan called the Kashmir “conflict” a “burning issue” in his virtual address during the UNGA debate and said, “Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu-Kashmir further complicated the problem.”

He added, “We are in favour of solving this issue through dialogue, within the framework of the United Nations resolutions and especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir.”

Watch l ‘Gross interference’: India slams Turkish President Erdogan’s Kashmir remarks 

India considers the Kashmir dispute as something to be settled bilaterally with Pakistan, and under the Simla Agreement. It is a position that is widely accepted by the international community, including eventually by US President Donald Trump who had tried, and failed, to intervene in the dispute with offers to mediate.

Erdogan had raised the issue in 2019 as well, rallying around Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s attempt to garner greater international attention on Kashmir at the UNGA. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was the only other leader to take Pakistan’s side at that time.

In his 2019 speech, the Turkish president had accused the international community of having “failed” to devote enough attention to Kashmir, saying, “In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbours, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision.”

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