New Delhi: After France froze the assets of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Germany has come forward in support of listing Azhar as a terrorist in the European Union.
Spokesperson for the German Embassy in New Delhi, Hans Christian Winkler, confirmed, "There is a discussion going on in the European Union on the listing of Masood Azhar as a terrorist. Germany is approaching it very positively in close coordination with France."
"Final decision on security and foreign policy can only be made once all members of the EU agree to it," he added.
China recently put a technical hold on Azhar's listing at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a fourth time, despite the overwhelming support of 14 of 15 members in favour of it.
However, this does not bind the European Union from not listing Azhar as a terrorist.
Diplomatic sources told ANI that earlier, EU could not list a terrorist or organisation that was not listed by the UN, but according to the new rules of the EU, which were modified a few years ago, it can list anyone involved in terrorism if all member states agree.
Germany is optimistic that it will be able to gather the support of other members to list Azhar in the EU and is approaching discussion very positively, but the process may take time.
China has also softened its position and has said it understands India's concern on Masood Azhar.
After the Pulwama attack, India is appraising and sharing evidence with the international community of JeM's involvement in the incident, which claimed the lives of as many as 40 CRPF personnel.
It will be a big diplomatic breakthrough for India if EU lists Masood Azhar, as this will further isolate Pakistan diplomatically.
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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2019 07:05:28 IST