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Sit down and talk, UN chief Antonio Guterres tells India and Pakistan

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

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The UN chief has maintained that his good offices are available for mediation if both sides ask for it. But India has ruled out any third-party mediation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres remains concerned about any escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue and appeals to both sides to deal with it through dialogue, his spokesperson said.

Mr. Guterres met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit last month in Biarritz, France, and has spoken to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

On Monday, Mr. Guterres met Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, at her request, to discuss the Kashmir issue.

Mr. Dujarric was asked whether Mr. Guterres planned to mediate between India and Pakistan during the UN General Assembly session, scheduled for later this month, which would be attended by Mr. Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan. “You know, our position on mediation, as a matter of principle, has always remained the same.”

His comments came as India and Pakistan clashed at the 42 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The UN chief has maintained that his good offices are available for mediation if both sides ask for it. But India has ruled out any third-party mediation, arguing that the issue is an internal matter.

And, as was said by the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently, the situation in Kashmir could be resolved only with the full respect for human rights, Mr. Dujarric said.

Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian High Commissioner following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 7:50:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/un-chief-wants-india-pakistan-to-resolve-kashmir-issue-through-dialogue-says-spokesperson/article29391156.ece

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