‘Reference to Kashmir by other countries in UNGA doesn't matter’: MEA on Erdogan’s comment

The Turkey president said India and Pakistan after having established their independence 75 years ago still haven't established peace and solidarity between one another. ‘We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir’, he said

FP Staff September 22, 2022 19:00:47 IST
‘Reference to Kashmir by other countries in UNGA doesn't matter’: MEA on Erdogan’s comment

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi speaks at the weekly media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday. ANI

New Delhi: Speaking at a weekly media briefing here, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “It’s a different issue, our position is very well known. J&K is our internal issue and we have expressed our opposition. Reference to Kashmir by other countries in UNGA doesn’t matter.”

Bagchi’s comment comes in the backdrop of Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan raking up the Kashmir issue at the Great Debate on Thursday once again.

What did Erdogan say?

During the General Debate, Erdogan said, India and Pakistan, after having established their sovereignty and independence 75 years ago, they still haven’t established peace and solidarity between one another. This is unfortunate. “We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir,” Erdogan said.

But this is not the first time that the Turkey president has referred to the Kashmir issue.  Last year in his address to the General Debate, Erdogan had said, “We maintain our stance in favour of solving the ongoing problem in Kashmir for 74 years, through dialogue between the parties and within the framework of relevant United Nations resolutions.” Again in 2020, Erdogan in his pre-recorded video statement to the General Debate had made a reference to Jammu and Kashmir.

India at that time as well had termed it as completely unacceptable, saying Turkey should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply.

The Cyrus Conflict

The Cyprus issue is a long-running political conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, two different ethnic and religious communities residing on the strategic Eastern Mediterranean island.

The invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974 resulted in the partitioning of the island, the North occupied by Turkey and the South by the Greek Cypriots. Since 1974, the last divided capital stands still in time. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus maintains a buffer zone between the two, commonly known as the “Green Line”. The demarcation not only serves as a scar but it has become a way of life. To justify the invasion, Turkey has argued that it was in line with the Treaty of Guarantee signed in 1960.

Added to this the international community and the UN Security Council condemned the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983. Turkey is the only country to recognise its existence and alleges that the TRNC was not established as a result of the Turkish intervention but much later in 1983 by the Turkish people of Cyprus in the exercise of their right to self-determination. But it has been argued that the TRNC was created as a result of Turkish military intervention; the recognition of an entity as a state that is created by the unlawful use of force is forbidden under international law.

India has been advocating a peaceful resolution of the issue in accordance with the UN resolutions.

S Jaishankar brings up Cyprus

Hours after Erdogan raked up Kashmir in his address to the General Assembly, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar discussed the Cyprus issue with Turkiye’s minister of foreign affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The two ministers met on the sidelines of the high-level United Nations General Assembly session, which entered its second day on Thursday.

Met FM @MevlutCavusoglu of Turkiye on sidelines of #UNGA. Wide ranging conversation that covered the Ukraine conflict, food security, G20 processes, global order, NAM and Cyprus, Jaishankar said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The 77th session of the UNGA is underway in the United States. The high level debate is scheduled from Tuesday, 20 September to Monday, 26 September. This year’s theme is “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”.

With input from agencies

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