Turkey

Turkey seeks to reduce tension in disputed Kashmir

Turkish president has 'fruitful' talk with Pakistani premier, seeks to speak with Indian prime minister to reduce tension

Ali Murat Alhas   | 06.08.2019
Turkey seeks to reduce tension in disputed Kashmir President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the 11th Ambassadors' Conference at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on August 06, 2019. ( Murat Kula - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

Turkey is closely following "worrying" developments in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region between Pakistan and India, the Turkish president said on Tuesday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks came at Turkey’s 11th Ambassadors' Conference held in the country's capital of Ankara, where Turkish diplomats and foreign mission officials gather annually to discuss foreign policy.

Erdogan said he had a "fruitful" phone conversation with Pakistani premier Imran Khan on Tuesday and that Ankara would get in touch with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in hopes to reduce tension mounting in the region.

India on Monday scrapped the special status granted to the country’s only Muslim-majority state, which allowed it autonomy in exchange for joining the Indian union after independence in 1947.

The provision allowed Jammu and Kashmir to enact its own laws and disallowed outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

Since they were partitioned, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

Thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989, according to several human rights organizations.

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